Alaska authorities: Bear might have raided birthday party before being shot in different home



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JUNEAU, Alaska — Wildlife officials in Alaska's capital suspect a black bear might have literally crashed a child's birthday party before he was shot and killed inside a different home.

The bear had shimmied onto the roof of Alicia Bishop and Glenn Merrill's home and was walking across a skylight when the bottom fell out Saturday, the Juneau Empire reported (http://is.gd/eUiuGY ).

"I heard this cracking," said Merrill, who was preparing for his son's first birthday party. "And the next thing you know, there's this bear that, I mean, literally, fell right from (the skylight)."

He said he and the bear were about 3 feet apart and just stared at each other in disbelief.

Merrill, 45, had his parents take his son, Jackson, upstairs, and he went into another room and shut the door. Bishop, 33, was standing in the kitchen behind a glass door and watched the bear help itself to some cupcakes intended for the child's birthday bash.

"The bear walks over and puts its paws up on the table and starts licking his birthday cupcakes, and I'm just like, 'You've got to be kidding me,'" Bishop told the newspaper.

She opened a side door, and the couple were able to shoo the bear outside. He made one more appearance.

"It was up by the window like, 'I want more cupcakes,'" Bishop said.

The animal retreated to the woods when Merrill used bear spray. He said the bear wasn't aggressive, and seemed used to being around people.

About 30 minutes later, Juneau police responded to a report of a bear inside a nearby home. Officers arrived and shot it when it appeared in the doorway. The bear ran behind the house, where it was later found dead.

Wildlife officials suspect it's the same bear, described in both incidents as a young male, weighing about 180 pounds.

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