New Hampshire authorities are warning vacationers to be vigilant after a bear broke into a home in Jackson while a toddler was inside.
The child's mother, who was vacationing at the home on Wildflower Lane, called 911 to report that the bear had broken in while her 2-year-old girl was napping upstairs.
"This situation could have gone wrong," said New Hampshire Fish and Game Conservation Officer Sgt. Alex Lopashanski.
He said anytime a bear is inside an occupied residence, it's a recipe for disaster.
"It is not their intent to attack and kill a human being, but in the course of trying to exit the house, they can certain injure someone pretty badly," said Lopashanski.
A Jackson police officer was first on scene at the home and immediately got the child out the house, then scared the bear off using a rubber bullet to send it into the woods.
"We try to use less than lethal methods whenever possible," said Lopashanski.
But by the time he arrived 15 minutes later, the bear was back. That's when he decided to shoot and kill the animal.
"It's unfortunate. It's not what we got into this job to do," he said. "We are here to conserve wildlife not to kill them."
Lopashanski said often times bears end up in residential areas because humans leave out trash or food, but that wasn't the case on Saturday afternoon.
"There really wasn't anything outside to attract them," said Lopashanski.
He added that relocating the bear also wasn't a viable option.
"It's just not safe," Lopashanski said. "Because once they've lost that healthy fear of people, they're apt to do it again."
Officials said if you are vacationing in the White Mountains this summer the easiest way to deter bears is to spray your garbage with ammonia or bleach.