By CBSLA Staff

SIERRA MADRE (CBSLA) – Bear encounters in the foothill communities along the San Gabriel Mountains are common, but a Sierra Madre homeowner got the surprise of his life when he opened the door and found a bear enjoying a meal.

John Holden couldn’t have been more surprised when he came home at lunchtime and saw that he was the only one who was hungry.

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“I see a bear in my kitchen and he’s eating my Kentucky Fried Chicken. I never expected to see a bear in my house. It was surreal,” said Holden.

When he first arrived, he saw his front door open and then spotted the mama bear sitting outside. Holden said she wouldn’t leave, so he just ran past her up the stairs into his house.

“I was very concerned about my pets at the time. So, I guess I wasn’t thinking clearly. I just wanted to get in here and make sure they were okay.”

While one cub devoured his bucket of chicken on the kitchen counter, the homeowner saw another one ransacking the house, and then he realized that one of his parakeets was missing, as was his dog Woody. That’s when Holden decided to first focus on getting the bears out of his house.

“I did everything I could to make noise to try to get them to leave,” he said. “They were very stubborn. They seemed to be much more interested in the KFC and the other items in the house than me.”

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Fortunately, after a few minutes, the two cubs decided to make an exit and joined their mama outside.

“They were very happy. They definitely enjoyed their visit here in my house,” he said.

Holden’s dog, Woody, escaped the bear break-in and was later returned by a neighbor.

Holden then turned his attention to finding his pets. Sadly, his parakeet, Ditka, is gone, but Woody, his dog, is back home. The beloved dog was able to get out of the house when the bears came in. A neighbor driving by found him and brought him back.

The homeowner said he’s thankful his family wan’t home when the cubs arrived. Although bears are a part of the Sierra Madre Community, he will be making sure they won’t be making themselves comfortable inside his home again.

Holden is thankful his family wasn’t home when the cubs arrived. Although bears are part of his community in Sierra Madre, he will be making sure they won’t be making themselves comfortable *inside* again.

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“Definitely make sure all your doors and windows are securely fastened when you have fresh food in the house that a bear can smell, especially KFC,” Holden said.