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A California woman was harassed by an aggressive black bear she named ‘Big B—ard’ before fatally tearing her house apart

American news


Pactice Miller, 71, was harassed by an aggressive black bear in her small Northern California town for months before it burst into her home and killed her last year.

When officials first found Miller’s dismembered and partially eaten body in her Downieville home last November, they at first thought she had died of natural causes and the bear broke in, attracted by the smell.

But neighbors had reported seeing the bear, which she had named “Big B-ard,” returning to her home repeatedly, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Miller even installed steel bars on her windows to try to keep the bear out before it broke down her door, the newspaper reported.

Miller’s death marks the first documented fatal black bear attack on a human in the Golden State.

“It appeared the bear had probably been there for several days and had been feeding on the remains,” Sierra County Sheriff Mike Fisher said.

Sierra County sheriff’s deputies found Miller’s door broken, which appeared to be how the bear entered.

Pactice Miller was in constant tension with a black bear coming around the woman’s home. Getty Images/iStockphoto
The bear mauled the woman and partially ate her. AP

There was bear feces, blood streaks and paw prints in her living room.

The bear likely pulled Miller from her bed into her living room, the coroner’s report said, according to the Bee.

The small mountain town is “right in the middle of where bears like to be,” Catilin Roddy of California Fish and Wildlife’s North Central Region told the newspaper.

Miller’s friend Cassie Koch, who initially requested a welfare check for her, told the Bee, “When I was a kid, you never saw a bear in town. Now they are all ready and making their rounds. These are easy choices for them.”

Miller installed steel bars on her windows to try to keep the bear out before it broke down her door. AP

Koch said Miller had wanted the bear removed, but he didn’t hurt her before killing her.

Koch told the newspaper that Miller had a vegetable garden and compost and did not always throw away her trash immediately, which officials said could have attracted the bear to her home.

According to the newspaper, about 40% of California’s estimated 65,000 black bears live in the Sierra Nevada, where Downieville is located.

The bear was eventually captured and euthanized.





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