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Hungry Bear Helps Itself

Imagine arriving home and finding a broken window screen, a raided refrigerator, food strewn all over the floor and half-eaten nuts on the living room floor.

"The only thing he didn't do is fix himself a drink," said homeowner Richard Manome.

He isn't talking about any normal intruder, but a black bear that broke into his cabin on remote Lake Okawasa in Sussex County and helped himself to two dozen eggs and even artificial fruit. The bear also trashed the bathroom, WCBS-TV Correspondent Paul Moniz reports.

Last Friday afternoon, while Manome went out on an errand, the bear apparently hopped up onto an outdoor grill and climbed right through the kitchen window. Incredibly, the animal liked the visit so much he returned twice over the next 12 hours and he an Manome actually came face-to-face.

"He had his paw against the window and was just ready to push it through," he said.

Luckily, Manome managed to scare the bear away. Wildlife officials rushed to set up a trap on his property, but so far the hungry culprit is still at large. However, they did capture a 125 lb. Male bear in another town after a farmer complained of an orchard being raided.

Kelsey Burgess, of New Jersey Fish, Game and Wildlife, said the drought has dried up many sources of food for animals.

"It's not just black bears we're having trouble with. Now we have coyotes coming out of the woodwork. We've got raccoons… possums…" he said.

Black bears don't normally attack people. One did injure a horse last week at a farm in West Milford, N.J.

Manome is taking no chances. He put his garbage inside and hung rags soaked in ammonia to neutralize the smell of food.

"It's a scary proposition because of the damage it can do," he said.