In early November, a family in Lake Tahoe, California, was going about their day when suddenly they heard some strange, loud noises coming from the crawl space below their house. After listening closely and looking around outside, they determined there was a very, very large animal under there — most likely a bear.
It seemed that one of the local bears had been looking for a nice place to sleep for the winter, and when the family accidentally left the door to their crawl space unlocked, he took it as an invitation and decided to settle in. Wanting to help, the couple quickly contacted BEAR League, a group who handles this kind of situation all the time.
“Crawl spaces are perfect because they're cave-like,” Ann Bryant, executive director of BEAR League, told The Dodo. “They're dark, they're quiet, they're dry, they're safe — they're just absolutely perfect, so if a bear finds an opening, they go in and go, ‘Oh wow, this is great!’ In the winter we deal with it pretty much every day.”
Bryant promised the couple she would head out there the next day and help move the bear to a different spot, but as the day went on, the couple stopped hearing sounds — so, thinking the bear had moved on, the husband closed the door to the crawl space.
As it turned out, though, the bear was still there.
“During the night he [the husband] heard him and he was horrified because he realized, ‘Oh no, I locked him in there,’” Bryant said.
The family felt so bad that they had accidentally trapped the bear under their house, and Bryant came first thing the next day to help get him out again.