LENOX, Mass., Aug. 19 (UPI) -- A Massachusetts bear picked an appropriate house for a break-in -- the home of the state's Fisheries & Wildlife Board chairman.
George L. "Gige" Darey, 88, who has served as chairman for 35 years, said he was out for a walk Tuesday when a neighbor called him to say there was a bear inside his Lenox home.
"I ran as fast as an 88-year-old could," Darey told the Berkshire Eagle. "Knowing this neighbor, who wouldn't want to be identified, I knew it was serious."
Lenox police also responded to the home, but the bruin was gone before officers or the homeowner arrived.
"There definitely had been a bear in there," Police Chief Stephen O'Brien said.
Darey said he and his wife, Virginia, had been leaving their back door open so their dog, Eclair, could go outside.
The homeowner said it was Eclair's barking at the bear that drew the neighbor's attention.
Darey said his dog was not injured in the encounter.
The chairman said he has a theory as to what drew the bear to his neighborhood.
"There's a problem in the neighborhood because a guy down the street is boasting that he's hand-feeding a bear," he said.
"At Fisheries and Wildlife, we say, 'A fed bear is a dead bear because it will become a nuisance and have to be destroyed,'" he said.
He said this particular nuisance "trashed things up [and] threw garbage all over the floor" while in his home.
"We're not going to leave the door open anymore to let the dog run in the backyard," Darey said.