The bears reportedly made off with pounds of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, M&M's, Sour Patch Kids and two beers

By Gabrielle Chung
May 12, 2020 10:41 PM
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Two women on vacation got more than what they bargained for when four wild bears broke into their rental home and walked away with their food and drink.

Michelle Eberhart was hanging out with a friend in a mountain cabin in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, on Friday afternoon when a black bear managed to open a locked door and make its way inside, according to CNN.

"She just looked up, and she was kind of making some motion and I couldn't figure out what was going on," Eberhart told the outlet. "So I kind of moved a little bit and saw what she was freaking out about."

Eberhart said she and her friend immediately ran upstairs to safety as the bear rummaged around the cabin. As if that wasn't scary enough, three other bears showed up during this time and began wandering around on the porch.

Black bear
Michelle Eberhart

"It knocked over the trash, it knocked over a book, and it destroyed a couple of decks of cards and it scratched up a lot of stuff," she said. "There were scratches on walls and the floor."

The police were called and the bear inside ran out of the house and jumped off a balcony when help arrived on scene, CNN reported. Officers were able to shoo the other three bears away from the property.

Eberhart told ABC affiliate WATE that the bears out away with some of their provisions — including "5 pounds of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and a pound of M&M’s and two pounds of Sour Patch Kids and two bags of potato chips."

She also said that the bears took "two beers and two Diet Cokes," as well as some of her allergy medicine.

"It was just almost surreal, it was just a fight-or-flight, like I just have to remove us from this situation and make sure that we’re at least in a safe place," she said of the experience.

Eberhart's encounter with the bears was a rare occurrence, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

“It’s really not typical bear behavior for them to come on to someone’s porch and start looking for food," Matt Cameron, a spokesperson for the agency, said. "That means those bears have been around humans and have received handouts or have found a food source around a dwelling."

Eberhart since posted video of the incident on her social media, though she emphasized to local news station WBIR that she did not purposefully lure the bears onto the property.

"We didn't do anything to encourage them and we would never do anything to encourage them. We really respect the wildlife," she said. "Just really kind of shocked it all happened. We are extra cautious."