- Black bear broke through the screen door of a home in Lake Mary, Central Florida
- Homeowner Tramaine Gaines caught it on camera after it had tried to devour a pot of turkey oil
- Bear was taller than a full-grown man when standing on its hind legs
- No one was hurt in the close encounter, the latest in a string of similar incidents in the area as the bears get ready to hibernate
- A woman was mauled and almost killed by a female black bear earlier this month in Florida
Daily Mail Reporter
15:21 GMT, 31 December 2013
16:13 GMT, 31 December 2013
A Florida family got the shock of their lives on Christmas when their house was broken into by a bear in search of a late-night snack.
The black bear, taller than a full-grown man when standing on its hind legs, was caught red-handed with its paws in the cookie jar, or rather, the turkey oil pot.
Tramaine Gaines, of Lake Mary, central Florida, filmed the animal sniffing around the back patio of his home on Redwood Grove Terrace after it had broken through the screen door just hours after he and his family had finished eating their Christmas dinner.
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Yum, what’s the smell? Homeowner, Tramaine Gaines, right, said he saw the bear heading straight for a pot filled with turkey oil that was sitting out on a table in his back patio. The animal had broken through a screen door to get a closer whiff of what he was hoping to be food
Gaines said he thought at first it was a burglar breaking into his house, until he saw the bear heading straight for a pot filled with turkey oil.
‘He bust through and came to this can where he thought a turkey was, Gaines told CBS Local 6. ‘He stood up on his hind legs when he stood up on his legs he was as tall as me.’
Gaines said the bear returned a few days later and walked through his patio in search of food.
‘The first time it was really funny,’ Gaines told the ABC. ‘This time I’m a little more concerned.’
Bears can smell food from a mile away and will eat almost anything as they pack on extra calories before winter, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
‘The bear was just being a bear at the end of the day. If you have food out they’re going to find it,’ said Gaines. ‘We have to coexist even if it gets a little rough sometimes.’
Bear intruder: The animal was caught on camera sneaking around the patio of a home in Lake Mary, Florida, searching for a late-night snack. It returned a few days later
Close encounters: The incident was the latest in a string of recent bear sightings in residential communities in Central Florida, such as this one which was spotted walking through a backyard
The harrowing incident is just the latest in a number of recent close encounters with bears in Central Florida.
A 200-pound female bear was suspected of mauling and seriously injuring a central Florida woman earlier this month
Susan Chalfant, 54, was injured by a bear while out walking her two small dogs an evening in Longwood, a leafy residential area about 15 miles north of Orlando.
And just a few days ago a black bear was seen walking through the backyard of another home in the area.
FWC warned residents of the importance of locking up food products, and to make sure to take out the trash the morning of pickup instead of the night before.