An Alaskan woman who sat down on an outside toilet while on a camping trip got the shock of her life – when she was bitten on the bottom by a bear.
Shannon Stevens was spending the weekend with her brother and his girlfriend at a remote camping site on Chilkat Lake, 17 miles from her home in Haines, Alaska.
“Normally, when we are out there in the summer or the fall I’m used to shouting ‘Hey, bear!’ the whole way. It was the dead of winter, so I didn’t think to do that this time,” she told her local news station KHNS.
She added: “I got in there and sat down on the toilet seat, and something just immediately bit me in the butt. I jumped up and screamed.”
Shannon called for her brother Erik who came running to help.
He told KHNS that he lifted the toilet seat to investigate and found out what had happened: “Right at the level of the toilet seat, maybe an inch or two below, is a gigantic bear face looking right back up at me.”
Shannon, Erik and his girlfriend took refuge in the tent overnight and then the following morning found what appeared to be bear tracks near the outhouse.
Shannon says that the injury isn’t too severe: “It felt like just a single puncture. Maybe it wasn’t even a bite.
“It might have been a swipe with his claw potentially,” she added, “I don’t think we’ll ever really know that part.”
Erik Stevens says that the bear was probably attracted by the smell of cooking, then got stuck in the space beneath the outhouse: “There’s a way out in the back of the outhouse, there’s a rock wall and there’s a way for a creature to get in through that rock wall. He probably just pushed the rocks over and got down into the hole,” he said.
Biologist Carl Koch, from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said that after examining the tracks and checking other reports of bear activity in the area, he said that the bottom-biter was in all probability a black bear.
He explained that while bears do generally hibernate during winter, that’s not always the case.
“[She] might be the only person this has ever happened to,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised over the years if other folks have had bizarre things—but during February to sit down in an outhouse and have something like that happen is very unusual.”
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