A brown bear and bear cub walking through a wooded area.
Unsplash | Ben Owen

Family Hears Weird Snoring Noises All Winter, Discovers It's Five Bears Hibernating Under Their House

Houses tend to make strange sounds all the time. Mostly, we can trick ourselves into thinking the pipes are creaking or the house is "just settling" (whatever that means), but sometimes, that weird noise is something way stranger.

Still, I don't think anyone would've expected a bear to be making the weird noises underneath their house, let alone a whole family of them.

But I guess stranger things have happened in this world.

BEAR League, a non-profit based in Tahoe, California, posted a pretty strange picture to their Facebook page. It shows a blurry shot of a somewhat camera shy mama bear.

As it turns out, she and her cubs had been hibernating underneath a family's house... all winter long.

A bear cub standing on top of a fallen tree trunk.
Unsplash | 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič

"Last year she had three cubs and when they were about 9 months old she adopted an orphan of the same age from her neighborhood. Then she had four active, chubby little bears following her around," the post reads.

"When it came time to go to sleep for the winter she found a house with an unsecured crawl space opening..."

A camera zoom on a dark and foreboding cave in the woods.
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"...and ushered all the kids inside and told them to Be Quiet and Go to Sleep."

And the rest, as they say. Is history.

Or at least it would be, if there wasn't a family living directly above the bears.

A woman whose mouth is open wide in shock, who then turns around to walk away.
Giphy | The Roku Channel

"It was a home where people lived and they thought they heard some odd rumbling, snoring-like noises but ignored it because it simply didn't make sense...and the neighbors said they were imagining it because they didn't hear anything," the post continues.

"Today the bear family awoke and prepared to exit and the people in the house could no longer deny there was probably a bear under the house."

A woman calmly but unhappily saying, "Well, that's going to be a problem."
Giphy | This Is Us

That's when the BEAR league was called in to "un-invite" the mama bear...

And they didn't realize there was a whole family until after mama made her way out.

Three bears standing on a series of rocks.
Unsplash | Céline Chamiot-Poncet

"It was quite the scene to then watch the four yearling cubs emerge from the opening and join together on the other side of the fence to venture forth into 2022."

The process of "un-inviting" bears is pretty harmless.

Homer Simpson looking triumphant after he hammers a sign that reads, "Go away" to the ground on his lawn.
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BEAR League told Huffpost it involves, "being territorial and scary, thereby making the bear believe it’s not going to be safe there anymore.” They aren't harmed physically, though they might walk away with some hurt feelings.

After the bears were ushered away from the crawlspace, BEAR League took extra measures to make sure they wouldn't come back.

Naruto running onto a chain link fence and getting electrocuted by it.
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According to Insider, they installed an electric barrier around the crawlspace opening that would give any would-be bear intruder a "small shock" to keep them away.

Apparently, this is a lot more common than you'd think.

A woman looking directly into the camera in shock as the camera zooms into her face.
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What we see as a regular crawlspace, a bear sees as a cave, or a potential den to settle down in and sleep all winter long. And a lot of people don't close up their crawlspace openings.

In fact, "The BEAR League is kept very busy moving bears out of these crawl spaces."

One bear standing around, one sitting slightly out of view, and one on its back, seemingly waving to the camera.
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The representative from BEAR League further said to Huffpost, "Each winter, about 100 to 150 of our bears attempt to hibernate under homes here at Tahoe."

I guess that's a good reminder to bear-proof your house.

h/t: HuffPost