An Alaska woman is recovering from a bear bite that occurred while she was taking a growler in an outhouse. First reported by Anchorage daily news, the woman was on a backcountry trip near Haines.
Shannon Stevens was staying on Chilkat Lake for a weekend with her brother and his girlfriend. The three made sausage for dinner over an open fire, then Shannon went to use the outhouse, according to KHNS radio station.
“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,” Stevens told KHNS. “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’s brother, Eric went out to investigate, “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,” he told KHNS.
Shannon suffered puncture wounds to her butt and later said she was unsure if the bear bit or clawed her.
Alaska Department of Fish and Game Biologist Carl Koch investigated the incident. After looking at photos of tracks and taking into account other reports of bear activity in the area, he said he believes the culprit was a black bear, according to KHNS.
Bears are less active during the winter but do not go into full hibernation. It is a good idea to take bear spray at all times in Alaska.