KIMBERLEY, B.C.—The first hint that there might be some trouble in the Traverse family home in Kimberley, B.C., early Sunday morning came from the dog’s frantic barking.
When Niki Traverse opened her bedroom door, the pooch raced under the bed.
“Mark, he was like, ‘Don’t let the dog out. There’s coyotes, there’s bears,’” she recalled her husband saying.
But it was his last bit of advice—that she might want to close the window—that Traverse could have used before a grizzly bear invited himself into the house.
“It was in the entryway with its head in the closet where we keep the cat and dog food,” she said. “I saw the back end of it and I freaked, I lost it.”
She ran back to her bedroom and used enough expletives to convince her sleepy husband there really was a bear in the house.
Mark Traverse is a hunter and keeps his guns locked in their bedroom. He put on his pants, loaded his gun with shaky hands and reached for the light switch, she said.
“As soon as he turned on the light, it came into the kitchen and charged at him,” Traverse said.
Two shots put the bear down less than two metres from her husband in the middle of their kitchen, she said. Mark Traverse used a third shot to ensure the bear was dead less than a metre from their son’s bedroom door.
Brad Traverse was sleeping, and when he heard his mom scream, he assumed she saw a spider.
“I hate spiders and sometimes there are big ones,” she said.
A conservation officer later told the family that he’d never dealt with a grizzly encounter inside a house.
“But this one, for whatever reason, it was very sick and it was very, very hungry,” Niki Traverse said.
The bear was estimated to be between 10 and 15 years old and weighed between 180 and 270 kilograms, she said.
The conservation officer told the family they did everything right, including locking away their garbage and any other attractants.
“The only thing we did wrong—we left our window open after going to bed,” she said.
Traverse said she didn’t sleep well Sunday night, but she’s glad her husband knew what to do and that the bear broke into the only house on the street with an experienced hunter.