Seldovia woman fends off bear inside her home with a broom

Oct 15, 2018

The view outside of the window Mahan pushed the bear out of with the screen lying on the ground below.
Credit Courtesy of Karen Mahan

A Seldovia woman fought off a black bear inside of her home with nothing more than a broom early Monday morning.

Karen Mahan said she was working on her computer shortly before 2 a.m. when she heard a noise coming from her living room and kitchen. Mahan assumed it was her two youngest sons when she went to check, but to her surprise, a black bear had broken through her front door and was in her entryway.

“It had to be over 200 pounds. He was looking at me. I run in bedroom to grab my gun. I get my gun. I don’t realize that my ammo is old,” Mahan recalled over the phone Tuesday. “As I’m walking out my bedroom door in a hurry, he’s already in the living room standing between my couch and my rifle cabinet. He starts peeling his lips back and growling at me. I pull my gun to shoot on him and it dry fires.”

Mahan said after her pistol failed to fire a second time, she grabbed a metal broom nearby and began hitting the bear, pushing it back towards the entryway.

“He was growling, spitting, clicking his teeth at me. I shoved him back up onto the porch. He jumped back up onto that window. He’s so fat, he could not fit through the window,” Mahan explained. “I hauled off and gave that broom everything I had, and I shoved him out that two-story window, he hit my son’s truck and dented the door – then making all sorts of noises and took off running.”

Mahan said the bear mostly just spread trash around her entryway and that there was minimal damage to her home.  

Seldovia Police Chief Paul Cushman responded to the scene after Mahan called to report the incident. Cushman said he patrolled the area for the bear, but was unable to locate the animal. Cushman said if the bear is located, he plans to trap and relocate it. The incident follows several reports of a nuisance bear around town.

“Nothing to this measure where it’s gotten into anyone’s home or anything.  It’s gotten into some peoples’ trash, but nothing to this level,” Cushman added.

Cushman assumes it is the same bear, but said it’s possible there may be two bears in town causing issues. He encourages residents in the area to be aware of their surroundings and to keep trash out of reach.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that Mahan assumed it was her two youngest sons that were making noise in the kitchen, not her 19-year-old son who was also home at the time.