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Bear Killed After Breaking Into Tahoe Restaurant

TAHOE CITY, Calif. (CBS13) -- A restaurant owner survived a face-to-face encounter with a 500 pound black bear, but the bear did not.

Bill Hunter said the bear had broken into the 78-year-old Bacchi Restaurant four times in the past week, which had never happened before.

"He likes ice cream, so he ate two three-gallon tubs of ice cream," Bill said.

The restaurant owner called wildlife officials twice before the shooting but said no steps were taken to deter the animal from returning.

"Whoever handles that stuff needs to address the bear problem up here," he said. "One of the deputies told me they respond to four or five calls a day."

When Bill walked into his restaurant, he found himself face-to-face with the intimidating black bear. Yelling failed to scare off the animal, so Bill grabbed his gun.

"The bear got really agitated, charged around the table, came straight towards me," Bill said.

Bill shot the bear twice, fatally wounding it. It's not a kill Bill is proud of, but he says he feels like he had no choice.

"Crossed the 35 feet within a heartbeat. He was one me before I had a chance to do anything," he said. "I feel bad about shooting him cause he was such a beautiful animal.

Bill said he is hoping to have electrical bear fencing installed around his property in the spring.

Authorities said the shooting was justified.

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