House of the Cave Bear

[Image: The erstwhile basement hibernator, photographed by Brendan Kuty/, via Gothamist].

I’m a sucker for tales of the after-market animal reuse of domestic architectural structures—such as wildcats taking over foreclosed California suburbs, bees colonizing the internal walls of a single-family house until honey drips from the electrical outlets, or the strangely elaborate saga of a pack of coyotes living in a burned-out home in Glendale—so I can’t resist this story, in which a man from the cable company descends into a basement in Hopatcong, New Jersey, only to find that a black bear had taken up residence there and had apparently been living in the basement for weeks.

According to the police, the bear had even “fashioned a den of his own in the basement, bringing in twigs and leaves, in anticipation of a winter-long stay.” The architecturally inclined bear—building a more comfortable bed for himself—was getting ready to hibernate.

(Thanks, Nicky!)

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