RINGWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey woman sitting home recovering from a recent car accident suffered through some new frightening moments this week, as a bear walked right into her house.
As CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported Wednesday, Deborah Epstein of Ringwood suffered facial injuries in her recent car accident. And the second scare came just after 11 a.m. Tuesday.
“[My dog] Joe and I were just enjoying the day on the porch,” she said. “And the phone rang, so I went to get it, and Joe stayed here.”
Epstein said she made the mistake of leaving her front door open when she went inside. She heard Joe the dog start barking like crazy.
“He barks when anybody comes, but this one sounded a little more furious than usual,” she said.
And when Epstein turned around, she saw a bear.
“‘Oh my God, there’s a bear in the house!’ I just couldn’t believe it,” she said.
Epstein said the bear headed toward Joe’s food bowl, but Joe was not having it.
“Joe was attacking it,” Epstein said. “Basically, the bear was heading for his food dish bowl, and you don’t touch Joe’s food dish bowl. And he actually got the bear to turn around and chased him out the door.”
Joe is a Yorkshire terrier and weighs about 6 pounds. The bear was about 100 pounds. But Joe proved that having a bark bigger than your bite is sometimes all you need.
Neighbors said they saw the intruding bear luring around.
“I looked out the window and I seen the bear coming from a yard,” said John Wolff.
Ringwood police and neighbors said bear sightings happen almost daily in the area, and thus, no one seemed fazed by what happened. That included Epstein, and Joe.
“I saved him from the pound, and he saved me from a bear,” Epstein said. “We’re even.”
Epstein added she will make sure the door is closed from now on.
The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife advised that if a bear enters your home, the best idea is to provide it with an escape route by propping all doors open.
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