‘It didn’t occur to me it would be a bear’: Outhouse bear bites Haines woman on her bottom
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A woman in Southeast Alaska said she never imagined having an issue with bears while winter camping near Haines last weekend, until one bit her on her bottom.
Shannon Stevens was camping with her brother and his girlfriend at a yurt near Chilkat Lake on Saturday, when she left to use the outhouse after dinner.
“I went to the outhouse, sat on the toilet and immediately something bit me,” she said. “Honestly … it didn’t occur to me it would be a bear. I didn’t know what it was. I felt the pain and screamed.”
Shannon Stevens’ screams brought her brother, Erik Stevens, running to the outhouse to see what was wrong.
“I’m like, ‘I’m going to open the lid and see what’s down there,’” Shannon Stevens said. “So I grabbed my headlamp and I open the lid, and right there is a big bear face, just staring back at me.”
The pair ran back to the yurt where they cleaned and dressed Shannon Stevens’ wound, which Erik Stevens described as a small puncture or possibly a scratch.
“As soon as we realized everything was fine, she had this minor wound, but it wasn’t a big deal, I think we all started laughing because we couldn’t believe how crazy it was,” he said.
The next morning, Shannon Stevens found bear prints all around the outhouse.
Alaska Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Biologist Carl Koch said he had never heard of a bear popping up from an outhouse toilet before but added that bears can certainly be awake in the area, even in winter.
“We get reports every month of the year about bears,” he said. “They are less common in winter, but they are definitely out and about.”
Koch believes it was a black bear, based on tracks near the outhouse. He said owners of a nearby cabin also reported damage to their outhouse the following day and provided a picture of a black bear roaming nearby.
Shannon Stevens said the experience has taught her to be a bit more cautious.
“I think I’ll just look a little more closely at the outhouse next time.”
She said she’s grateful her wound has healed and left her with a story to tell.
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