Alaska woman bitten on the behind by black bear whilst sat on toilet

Alaska woman bitten on the behind by black bear  whilst sat on toilet

Bear-faced cheek! Woman is bitten on the behind by a black bear which attacked her from below as she sat down on a cabin toilet in Alaska

  • Shannon Stevens bitten on the behind by black bear as she sat down on toilet   
  • Shannon, her brother Erik and his girlfriend had taken snowmobiles to stay at his yurt by Chilkat Lake, near Haines, southeast Alaska 
  • Erik heard Shannon’s screams and ran to help – and they found a bear’s face looking right back up at them through the hole

A woman had the scare of a lifetime when she was bitten on the behind by a black bear as she sat down on a cabin toilet in Alaska. 

Shannon Stevens said she was attacked by the large animal from below as soon as she sat down on the toilet seat. 

Shannon, her brother Erik and his girlfriend had taken snowmobiles into the wilderness to stay at his yurt by Chilkat Lake, located 17 miles northwest of Haines, southeast Alaska, on Saturday. 

The trio had eaten sausages by the open fire before Shannon went to use the cabin toilet. 

‘I got out there and sat down on the toilet and immediately something bit my butt right as I sat down,’ Shannon said. ‘I jumped up and I screamed when it happened.’ 

‘I opened the toilet seat and there’s just a bear face just right there at the level of the toilet seat, just looking right back up through the hole, right at me,’ Erik said. Pictured: An American black bear in southeast Alaska (file photo)

Erik heard the screaming and went to the outhouse, about 150 feet away from the yurt. There, he found Shannon tending to her wound. 

They at first thought she had been bitten by a squirrel or a mink, or something small. 

Erik decided to investigate and, with a headlamp in hand, quickly lifted the toilet seat up. 

‘I opened the toilet seat and there’s just a bear face just right there at the level of the toilet seat, just looking right back up through the hole, right at me,’ he said. 

‘I just shut the lid as fast as I could. I said: “There’s a bear down down there, we got to get out of here now”. And we ran back to the yurt as fast as we could.’ 

Shannon Stevens had the scare of a lifetime when she was bitten on the behind by a black bear as she sat down on a cabin toilet in Alaska. Pictured: Her brother Erik Stevens compares his hand to the bear tracks left by his yurt on Chilkat Lake 

Once safely back inside, they treated Shannon’s wounds with a first aid kit. They determined it wasn’t serious, but they would head to Haines if it worsened.

‘It was bleeding, but it wasn’t super bad,’ Shannon said.

The next morning, they found bear tracks all over the property and the fire pit had been knocked over, but the bear had left the area. ‘You could see them across the snow, coming up to the side of the outhouse,’ she said.

They believe the bear got inside the outhouse through an opening at the bottom of the back door and was attracted by the smell of the sizzling sausages.

‘I expect it’s probably not that bad of a little den in the winter,’ Shannon said.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Management Biologist Carl Koch suspects it was a black bear based upon photos of the tracks he saw and the fact that a neighbor living about a half mile away sent him a photo of a black bear on her property two days later.

That homeowner yelled at the bear but it didn’t react. It also didn’t approach her but lumbered about its business, like it was in a walking in hibernation mode.

Even though it’s winter, Koch said they get calls all year round about bears being out.

And 2020 was a record year for general bear problems in the Haines area. Reasons for that, he said, could include the fact it was a poor salmon run year combined with a mediocre berry crop.

‘It is also possible a bear couldn’t put on enough fat when they go in the den, that they might be out and about more often or earlier,’ he said.

Koch suspects Shannon’s wound was caused by the bear swatting at her with a paw rather than being bitten. Either way, the location might be a first.

‘As far as getting swatted on the butt when you’re sitting down in winter, she could be the only person on Earth that this has ever happened to, for all I know,’ Koch said.

No matter the season, Erik says he’ll carry bear spray with him all the time when going into Alaska’s backcountry, and Shannon plans to change one behavior as well.

‘I’m just going to be better about looking inside the toilet before sitting down, for sure,’ she said.    

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