- The bear was waiting for her in an outhouse 20 miles outside Haines, Alaska.
- She received first aid, but the wound wasn't serious enough for medical attention.
We’ve brought you stories about the dangers of toilets before, from using them in outer space to snakes lurking inside to bite penises. Today, it’s a butt and a bear at the center of the story. The toilet in question was an outhouse – how else would the bear have fit in there – located (where else?) in Southeast Alaska. You’re not wrong if it seems early in the year for bears to come out of hibernation, but there you go, even in the middle of winter, no one is safe.
The best possible outcome, given the circumstances.
The woman’s fine; somehow, the bite wasn’t that serious. At first, she and her companions thought it was from a rodent. If you read our story on the maniac squirrel of Queens, you already know that rodents are no joke either. But upon further investigation, the bite came from a bear.
Shannon Stevens is lucky to have made it out of the situation alive, let alone (basically) unharmed. Stevens, her brother Erik, and Erik’s girlfriend had taken snowmobiles 20 miles northwest of Haines to stay in Erik’s yurt for fun? I guess? Haines calls itself the Adventure Capital of the World, so maybe you expect this kind of stuff on the outskirts. The incident still scared Stevens, though, “I jumped up and screamed when it happened,” she told the Associated Press.
Erik and his girlfriend heard the commotion from the outhouse, which was 150 feet from the yurt. They came to help Shannon and examine her bite, which (again) looked like it was from a rodent. Erik went into the outhouse to investigate with a headlamp, “I opened the toilet seat, and there’s just a bear face just looking right back up through the hole, right at me.”
I know it must have been terrifying because it’s a bear, but I feel like I would have just started laughing. How did it get into the outhouse in the first place?
Climate change is actually to blame here.
Stevens thinks it broke through a door at the base of the outhouse and used the space as a den through the winter. Wildlife experts in Haines noted that they’d had a record number of bear disturbance calls this year because of a combined poor salmon run and weak berry crop. Bears in the area may not have put on enough fat for hibernation, so they’ve been out more often through the winter.
Erik, his girlfriend, and Shannon agree they’re going to be more cautious at the yurt year-round and carry bear spray with them. As far as I’m concerned, there are far too many animals in toilets in general. Let’s all follow Shannon’s good example, “I’m just going to be better about looking inside the toilet before sitting down, for sure.”