Doug Harder thought he’d send along an interesting little photo to his local television stations over the weekend. The Sandpoint, Idaho man thought it just might get on the news. It was, after all, a snapshot of a bug-eyed bear trying to squeeze its way into his condo through a cat door.
“I thought it might be shown on the local evening news, nothing else!” he wrote on Facebook. “It has gone viral…I think it is mountain out of a mole hill story, had NO idea this would all happen, I feel like I am being punked!!!!!”
His bear tale has been featured on Good Morning America, CNN, The Ellen Show, has skipped across the pond to the UK and around the world. He hasn’t seen much of the coverage, but has heard about it as the interview requests keep rolling in. But he’s also finding out the price of his sudden Internet fame.
First, here’s the backstory he posted of his frequent visitor:
“Got home last Wednesday night to a mess, a bear pushed open the sliding glass door I had open while I was gone a few days, even a wood block in the door jam keeping it only open about 8 inches. He came back Thursday morning on the deck, after I closed and locked the sliding door the night before. The door is fine…IT COULD HAVE BEEN MUCH WORSE!!!!!!! He likes flour, brownie mix, Toblerone and went all the way to the back bedroom for a can of Pepsi!!! It took about 2 hours with a carpet cleaner to clean it up…grateful to have it!!! It ran away from me when I went outside. It came to the cat door Thursday night, trying again and again to get through, which is when I took the photo. My cat is in the photo on Friday, showing the width of the sliding glass door the bear squeezed through. It came back yesterday trying to get through the cat door again.”
He contacted U.S. Fish and Wildlife.
And along with the media attention, Harder says, the “backlash” has begun. That include his condo association, which he says left him a “nasty worded letter.”
“The bottom line is: DO NOT leave any food on your deck for any length of time unattended. DO NOT leave bird feeders on your deck. DO NOT leave doors open when you are not there. Your cat door HAS TO GO. Your door is considered an exterior portion of the building and it is stated clearly in the bylaws, paragraph five, there shall be no changes to the exterior of the building without consent of the association. You need to replace your door with a like door by September 8th, 2015. This is not negotiable.”
Harder says he didn’t know about bird feeder bylaw, but doing everything to remain up to snuff. Still, he feels a bit ganged up on.
“I know bears are a serious deal you do not mess with and was not trying to do, but glad a photo has seemed to bring a smile to most of I am guessing millions that have seen it!!! Just making lemonade out of lemons!” he wrote.
Photo Doug Harder/Facebook