A cable man reported to a customer's house yesterday to perform routine scheduled repairs. When he entered the basement to access the equipment, he made an unexpected discovery.
When he entered the Hopatcong, N.J. home, a 550-pound sleeping bear was in the basement, reported NBC New York.
The bear had been building a nest made of leaves and brush on the floor of the unfinished basement, unbeknownst to the 85-year-old homeowner, according to the New Jersey Herald.
When the cable man saw the bear, he backed away and the bear remained in the basement until an agent from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) arrived and shot the bear with a tranquilizer dart around 2:30 p.m.
CBS News reported Dave Cornine, who works for Cablevision, said, "I think when I drilled the hole through the floor, I probably woke him up. Because I turned around with the flashlight and ... I just freaked out. I threw my tools, ran out of the basement."
According to DEP spokesman, Larry Ragonese, after the conservation officer gave the bear the shot, the animal ran out the door and darted into both the neighborhood's woods and streets.
The New Jersey Herald reported witnesses were on the scene trying to catch a glimpse of the large bear.
Ten-year-old Max Kuru and his friend came looking for the bear; the duo didn't see the bear at first, but then the animal appeared about 10 feet away.
"It saw us. We started to run," Max told a reporter.
Reportedly the chase by officials to catch the bear lasted about 45 minutes.
The officer eventually caught up to the bear and gave it two more shots and the bear was neutralized. Once this occurred, the bear was able to be taken out of the N.J. neighborhood.
“Big time bear chase and there’s nothing better than a bear chase. But I hope it comes out to a good ending because this is one of the most beautiful animals I’ve seen in the history of probably Hopatcong — he’s beautiful. He’s the biggest girthy bear I’ve ever seen,” resident Joseph John Justin said to CBS News 2.
Ragonese said the bear "presumably" gained access through the doorway since the basement was without windows.
All homeowner Frank Annacone apparently had looked forward to that day was getting his television fixed. He'd called the cable company because his set wasn't working, so he called the cable company to get it repaired.
When Cornine got up that morning to go to work, the last thing on his mind was probably coming face-to-face with a bear. Despite all the excitement, by day's end, Cornine was able to get Annacone's television back running again.
TV fixed, bear removed, all in a day's work.
No word on what was wrong with the cable television, but perhaps the bear disconnected the cable in order to get some sleep sans TV sound?
Experts have decided to release the bear into the wild since it didn't show outward signs of aggression, the animal was taken to the Berkshire Valley Wildlife Management Area in Jefferson; experts are hoping the bear will make this property its new home.
In another recent incident, reported by Digital Journal, a woman in New Zealand found a baby seal sleeping on her couch.