Shannon Stevens of Haines, Alaska, might be the only person to have been bitten in the rear by a bear while attempting to use a campsite outhouse.
“She might be the only person this has ever happened to,” Carl Koch, a spokesman for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, told KHNS News. “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.”
Stevens was yurt camping at Chilkat Lake on Saturday with her brother and his girlfriend when it became time to answer nature’s call.
“Normally, when we are out there in the summer or the fall I’m used to shouting ‘Hey, bear!’ the whole way,” she recalled. “It was the dead of winter, so I didn’t think to do that this time. 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.”
Erik Stevens rushed to the aid of his sister and, after hearing her explanation, went into the outhouse with a headlamp. He looked into the toilet to see “a gigantic bear face looking right back up to me.”
He slammed the lid and they hurried back to the yurt, where Shannon, who was bleeding but not seriously injured, was treated for a deep puncture wound. She later wondered whether her injury might have been caused by the bear’s sharp claws.
Erik Stevens explained to KHNS News that farther down the hill there’s a back entrance to the outhouse hole, which had been covered with rocks. “He probably just pushed the rocks over and got down into the hole,” Erik said.
The story does not mention whether the bear might have been hibernating in the hole at the remote lake. However, Koch’s investigation turned up black bear tracks and he said there had been other reports of bear activity in the area.
Chilkat Lake is 17 miles from Haines in Southeast Alaska. Erik Stevens said his group accessed the yurt via snowmobile and that the bear might have been attracted by the smell of sausages cooking over an outdoor fire pit.