Bear In Hopatcong Man’s Basement Went Undetected For Weeks

HOPATCONG, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The 550-pound bear that was found hiding out in a New Jersey basement had been living there for weeks.

CBS2’s Kathryn Brown spoke to the bear’s “landlord” on Thursday.

Frank Annacone, 85, never imagined that a bear would move in with him.

“I could have ended up lunch for that big guy,” he said, still expressing disbelief.

Annacone learned about his roommate yesterday from Dave Cornine, a Cablevision technician who had come over for a repair job in the basement.

“I heard the growl, I thought what is that noise,” Cornine said.

Cornine turned around and saw an enormous black bear waking up in the corner. He didn’t stick around to make friends with the animal.

“I just freaked out, threw my tools, ran out of the basement,” he said.

When Animal Control officers attempted to tranquillize the bear he took off, leading them on an hour-long chase.

When Annacone finally saw a video of the bear he couldn’t believe his eyes.

“Look at the size of that lad! And he was down there dozing in my basement!” he exclaimed.

Annacone said that he doesn’t usually lock his basement door and that it was probably slightly ajar, allowing the big bear to push his way inside. He told Brown that he only goes downstairs occasionally to check heating oil levels.

Animal Control officers believe the bear had been living in the basement for at least several weeks. The bear had fashioned a den of his own in the basement, bringing in twigs and leaves, in anticipation of a winter-long stay.

The bear was eventually caught, tagged, and released back onto state property. In the future Annacone said that he’ll be locking his basement door.

Have your own story about an uninvited guest from the animal kingdom? Share it in our comments section below…

  • David

    They’re building dens in our basements!

  • stop building

    Problem: woods have been demolished for cheap housing. Result; animals get pushed out into more established neighborhoods. I would have run out screaming. If the bear did not kill me, the heart attack would.

  • bob

    Whilst doing forest survey work in Wisconsin’s north woods, I ran across what I initially perceived to be bear poop ( I was right), then saw a cub. I bet I could have made the olympics at the point. I’m pretty sure all anyone could see behind me was a streak of brown running for the fire road.

  • Joe

    Notice that the idiot reporter Kathryn Brown claims that the bear was “hiding out” rather than realize the bear was hibernating…..

    And in her bio, her lifelng dream was to be a journalist.

    She’s as sharp as a bowling ball…..and in her case, she is simply a


    Kathryn Brown…..head moron urinalist….graduated from Brown indeed….didn’t learn a damn thing…..another crappy school for urinalists

    • Disgusted

      Joe: Seriously! Go away and don’t come back. Hibernate somewhere. Your comments are unwelcome.

      She recognized the hibernation with the words “in anticipation of a winter-long stay.”

      Regardless, we don’t need your moronic commentary. The writer is neither an idiot nor a bad journalist, simply a colorful writer. Your critical commentary proves you to be worse than your claims about her. Go away and don’t come back.

  • Archie Bunkert

    Poor Bear. he could of kicked in some food for him. Nuts, berries, fish,
    water, and meat. Gave the beer a blanket, pillow.. why not.

  • seawolf

    When in the woods sew little jingle bells on your clothes so the bears hear you and always carry pepper spray…also learn how to distinquesh between bears by checking their poop…black bears poop will be full of berries..grizzly poop is full of little bells and smells like pepper.

    • MikeD

      I pooped myself reading this, too funy GRIZZLY ADAMAS!!!

    • mark

      BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! That made me laugh!! :)

  • Joe

    Anyway, 550 pounds is a very big black bear living in the wild……

    He’s a good scrounger…..and found a great den…..even had the sense to close the den door……lol

    Probably hibernated there last year…..with no problems

  • Eric Sansoni

    Bears! I knew it was them! Even when it was the immigants, I knew it
    was the bears. Sounds like there was a freakin’ country bear jambaroo going on down there! Daaaaaa bears.

  • Colin

    I walked up behind a wild bear, in Yellowstone, and hit it with a stick. I was six yrs old. The bear whirled around and stood up with paws extended and roared at me. I realized I had made the greatest mistake ever and dropped the stick. The only reason the beat didn’t chastise me, was that it was afraid stupidity would rub off on it. After three seconds (an eternity) it dropped down on all fours and flung a pawfull of gravel (backhanded) at me, as it walked off. I’m still not sure if I learned anything from this.

    • Joe

      Apparently not

  • Jim

    I’ve encountered a 6-foot-5 black bear in my home in the middle of the night, apparently looking for more sunflower seeds having eaten every sunflower seed in the bird feeders outside.

    First he took a dump in the middle of the floor, second he tried to escape as fast as he could, banging the door against his foot in frustration as he tried to leave the way he came, finally he jumped out the window through two solid window casings.

    Bears do not want to deal with people in any way. They want most of all to be as far from us as possible. Only in perceived self-defense do they become violent.

    • Joe


  • Phillep Harding

    Black bear are omnivores. Rule of thumb in Alaska: If a grizzly or brown bear attacks any time but winter, play dead. The grizzly is probably just knocking down a potentual threat to cubs and probably will not eat you. If a polar bear or black bear attacks or a grizzly during the winter, fight for your life because they /will/ eat you.

    • Joe

      Wrong again, moron

      Black bears might eat carrion…..but if it’s alive, they move on…

      You don’t no diddly about black bears, Phillep

      • greg

        Joe, you are wrong again! Black bears are omnivores!
        American black bears are omnivorous: plants, fruits, nuts, insects, honey, salmon, small mammals and carrion. In northern regions, they eat spawning salmon.
        Black bears will also occasionally kill young deer or moose calves.

  • Ronnie

    I as an animal lover probably would have let him hibernate in my basement for the winter. Why not? He’s only sleeping and how often does a human being get up close and personal like that with a giant sleeping bear? All of you people are assuming that he would have killed the old man and ate him, but seriously people, how many people have been killed by bears in NJ? It’s the people killing the bears remember? Their more afraid of you. The only bad scenario for a person encountering a bear is when they have cubs.

    • Joe

      Except for black bears…..they run up trees to get away, with their cubs following them. Black bears don’t defend their cubs like say a brown bear would.

      You people’s knowledge of the habits of black bears is nil.

      Why don’t you learn something for a change, you boobs

    • rashid

      NJ has the highest concentration of black bears in the USA. That’s why a large number of hunting permits were issued. This situation is symptomatic of the over population in urbanized areas. I hope the bear does ok.

  • Joe

    Walt, you are moron.

    Black bears don’t see people as food, they are herbivores. They don’t eat people. The black bear was hibernating. They start hibernating in November, typically, after careful selection of den sites during October.

    Was it a male of female? If female, it might be pregnant, and if so cubs will be born in January and nutured in the den until the spring thaw. The first thing mama teaches its cubs after they can walk is to teach them how to climb trees.

    So they can escape danger. That’s why you see black bears up a tree. They’re scared of humans and will climb trees to get away.

    If you’re hiking in the woods, you’d be more likely to spot a black bear up a tree looking down at you, than you would walking on the ground.

    • Jane
    • SD

      If male, he maight be getting ready for playoffs

    • greg

      Another excellent article concerning black bear attacks. According to the article, attacks are rare however sometimes bears get tired of eating berries and grubs and want something more substantial.
      Also Joe, like humans, bears are omnivores not herbivores!

      • Joe

        greg, the article you just referred to, in one statement they studied 59 deaths in 110 YEARS….and then in the next sentence the writer goes on about these 63 deaths….can’t even get thei #’s straight…..

        And, by the way, the Dr. referred to is NOT the bear expert that he is claimed to be…..

      • Joe

        No, Greg

        They might eat carrion…..but they don’t chase you down to kill and eat you, fool

    • greg
      It appears that black bears like kids best. Bon appetit!

      • Joe


        That’s the source of your research….LMAO

        Notice that in that BS you offer, mostly it was a bear……whether black, brown, or whatever color. Hard to tell a black bear from a brown or grisly in the dark.


        • greg

          Joe, read the article and learn something. The author categorizes the attacks by the 3 North American species of bears. Many of the attacks occurred in bright daylight. Also, black bears are of a different color, size, shape and have totally different paw prints than brown or polar bears. Also Joe, black bears are omnivores eating both plant and animals.

  • Walt C

    If you don’t cull part of the population through either hunting or government/taxpayer provided hunting, you get an overpopulation. Then you have bears moving into basements and eating pets, children or the occasional jogger.

    Ask the people of California how doing away with the mountain lion hunt worked out. As soon as the lions started eating joggers, they hired tax payer funded professional hunters to kill some of them. Instead of generating revenue by holding a hunting season and charging for hunting licenses.

    Not many joggers in Wyoming attacked by lions or bears.

    This guy was lucky he didn’t go down into his basement, he could have been attacked and eaten.

    • rashid

      Mountain lion attacks are very rare. Bears won’t eat a human, but if you’re mauled, what’s the difference? Human/animal interaction rarely ends well for the animal.

  • D Schwarz

    The bear had already signed up for welfare and food stamps and voted in the last election for Obama

  • Boo-Boo

    That’s what you get for leaving all those pic-a-nic baskets in the basement.

  • Shovel Ready

    Someone had to be there between 8 and 5 to get the cable repaired. He was part of the Occupy HOPATCONG.

  • Rico

    Memo to city slickers: black bears normally don’t make a lot of noise. They generally slip around pretty quietly as they go about their business. And if the old man says he doesn’t go in his basement too often, it’s not hard to imagine that a bear might decide to make use of the place for himself, concsidering how many of them we have about these days. It’s not as if they have any particular fear of humans anymore.

  • Tood M

    I would have thought all the bears left NJ due to the taxes. I would rather be around bears than NJ Democrat voters.

    Shame we cannot lock Democrat Jon Corzine in a basement with a dozen hungry bears. He bankrupted NJ and looted MF Worldwide.

    • Nidoog

      Yargh! I’m angry all the time! Yargh!

  • Basement Bear

    Cool! I want one!

  • Sarah A

    I’d much rather get rid of the libtards than the bears (the bears didn’t vote for Obama)

  • khornet

    Sure would make a great rug!

  • Roger

    Yogi will be back in the basement 2 weeks. Bears know where they want to stay, and how to get in.

  • Thomas

    Wait a minute! Not one person here has blamed this on Obama.

    What sort of Internet comments section is this?

    • happy now?

      It involved a bear. Conservatives aren’t stupid or arrogant enough to believe that we control nature. That’s you guys.

    • Jim Sherer

      The bear went into hibernation early because it could not listen to or see one more ad for Obambi.

      • NewYork Nick

        Just like all us business owners are in hibernation waiting for Oblamo INC to be shown the door next fall or until we decide to come off our strike that they’re too stupid to realize we’ve been on since Obamacare was passed.

        That’s how dumb they are. They can’t figure out that business owners are waiting it out, we’re not in business to make Obama and the FED rich when they send our money all over the globe to Dem donors, rock chuckin’ PalestOnians (sic) and Muslim terrorist organizations parading as governments and the likes.

        NO thanks Barry, you go, the depression leaves with you that afternoon. I can’t wait, the next president will look like a genius when this all solves itself in Dec next year!!! What a Christmas present that’ll be huh!!

        There ya go Thomas, happy now? lol

        • ghry

          If you can pass up business just because you don’t like Mr. Obama or the Affordable Care Act, then maybe you aren’t taxed enough.

    • Looking for trouble

      Oh c’mon, we all know this is all Bush’s fault.

  • Chicago Nick

    A freaking Bear in the basement? That’s unreal.

    Gee, clean your basement out much buddy? Obviously not.. Holy cripes…there’s not a room in my home including the basement which isn’t cleaned at least once a week if not month at the MOST.

    OK he’s an old man who’s probably deaf, but still!! He’s lucky that thing wasn’t a neighborhood crack thug or homeless nut or whatever, he’d definitely be hurt…That Bear luckily for him was totally crashed I guess it sounds like. He was stylin’ in his new warm digs!!

  • Tublift

    Uh oh, I’ve got beer in my basement.

  • NotBuyingIt

    I don’t believe Frank Annacone for one second. He “ordered” some “delivery” cableman lunch for that bear. Mr. Annacone, “Oh I always leave the basement door unlocked”, sure you do Frank.

    • greg

      Great insight! – Best comment!

  • JH

    It is clear from this that bears are preparing to build a nuclear weapon and use it against us. We need to react now before it’s too late.

  • Georgi

    Yes, Spacesurfer, the bear hunt count was up to over 400 after the fifth day of the atrocious six-day NJ bear hunt, but CBS never did report the final count., What is particularly despicable is the fact that the cowardly hunters have no qualms about killing sows and cubs, and even brag about it.

    • Yirmin Snipe

      Now lets be fair here. Liberals are always screaming for diversity…. so a hunter that doesn’t discriminate should be applauded.

      If you see a bear shoot it…. they make good sausage…. try it sometime… maybe your protein starved brain would function beyond the level of a liberal lump if you feed it some red meat.

  • Rodin

    Definitely shows how DANGEROUS black bears are.


    • Rodin

      Sorry. Got a tad carr’d away thar, folks….

  • liz

    WEEKS??????? How could a bear be in the basement for that long undetected.
    no noise????? It’s absurd!!!!

    • Rodin

      Nice cozy basement. Ever hear of “hibernation”?

    • terry

      The guy is 85 years old. Probably can’t hear that well. That’s how.

  • bullett

    Just and “unbearable” situation.

  • Roe

    I agree with Spacesurfer. We have bears here in Hopatcong that occasionaly stroll up our street almost daily in the summer and no one got hurt. We had one in our backyard 2 years ago while my husband was mowing the lawn. Besides the noise of the lawn mower he also has partial hearing due to a childhood accident so he didn’t even hear the bear behind him. If it wasn’t for a neighbor who spotted the bear and screamed to my husband he would have never known. The funny part of the whole thing is the bear was there rummaging through garbage for 15 minutes and he never tried to hurt him.

  • Spacesurfer

    With 400 of his brothers and sisters already dead from that stupid NJ bear hunt, I don’t blame the poor guy for hiding out in the basement… : [

    • Jeb

      Bear skin rugs…yeah baby. Now if we can just get rid of libtards the same way… just saying…

      • DW

        That would require a .50 machinegun with a 25 million round magazine.

        • See it my way!

          Do that and the bears will have nothing to eat!

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