Bear crashes 9-year-old's sleepover, trashes Rossland, B.C., home

A Rossland, B.C., family hid in a bedroom for an hour last weekend as a bear roamed the home, making a mess and damaging walls, floors and furniture. (Katherine Rice - image credit)
A Rossland, B.C., family hid in a bedroom for an hour last weekend as a bear roamed the home, making a mess and damaging walls, floors and furniture. (Katherine Rice - image credit)

A B.C. mother is recounting the harrowing story of hiding from a bear that invaded her home in Rossland, B.C., about 380 kilometres east of Vancouver, while she and her 9-year-old daughter were hosting a friend for a sleepover.

Katherine Rice said she never actually saw the bear that entered her home through the front door, but she heard noises that alerted her to the unwelcome visitor as she was getting ready to go to bed late Saturday.

"I thought it was possibly the kids or a bear outside [the house], but then I heard some really loud noises and I realized that a bear was in the house," Rice told CBC Radio West host Sarah Penton.

Hiding in a bedroom

Rice said she rushed into her daughter's room where the girls were sleeping and locked the door. After waking up the girls and telling them what was happening, Rice said she called 911 and asked the operator to send the RCMP.

Katherine Rice
Katherine Rice

Rice doesn't know exactly how the bear got in though her front door, but she later learned the door had closed behind it, giving the wild animal no way of leaving.

She and the girls spent the next 30 minutes hiding quietly in the room as they heard the bear make its way through the house, causing damage as it went from room to room, according to Rice.

'Destroyed the home'

"The bear pretty much destroyed the inside of our house ... the fridge was opened .... and he defecated and urinated a bunch in the house, all over the rugs and stuff," she said.

"He flipped over furniture. He threw a chest across the room ripping off shelves. In the bathroom, the curtains are all ripped off."

LISTEN | Rice shares her story: 

At one point the bear came upstairs to where she and the girls were hiding, as they tried not to make any noise, Rice said.

"He wrecked the room we were beside and we could hear him breathing at the door we were at," she said.

"We were just quiet when he came by ... I'm sure he could have [entered the room] but for some reason he didn't, which we're all thankful for."

Katherine Rice
Katherine Rice

Trapped inside

When police officers arrived, they had to force the front door open to create a way for the animal to leave the house, according a written statement from Trail RCMP.

The animal moved to the basement where it ripped up flooring and tore holes in the drywall, according to Rice, who estimated the bear was in the home for more than an hour in total, before it finally ran out the front door.

"I think it was terrified of being locked in this house. It didn't really eat anything, it just made more of a mess," Rice said.

Katherine Rice
Katherine Rice

Rice and the girls made the right decision to hide from the bear and not try to flee the home with the wild animal inside, said Trail RCMP Sgt. Mike Wicentowich.

"The family did the right thing at the right time by calling the police and sheltering in place," he said. "This was a scary incident for them, as it would be for anyone."

After the harrowing ordeal, Rice said the girls went back to bed and fell asleep, while she cleaned up the mess.

Even though a few days have passed since the bear encounter, Rice says she's still a bit shaken up by the incident.

"I keep thinking that it's not that big of a deal, and then I realize that it was, actually, quite a big deal."