By Russ and Tiña De Maris
If you’ve ever known the joys of open-air bathroom visits, take note. Always look down before you sit down. Shannon Stevens, an Alaska resident, says that’s a lesson she learned after she says she was “bit in the butt” by a bear in the wilds near Haines, Alaska, on February 13.
Scene from Psycho!
Shannon, her brother Erik, and Erik’s girlfriend all decided to take a bit of a vacation. They hopped on snowmobiles and headed out to stay at Erik’s yurt. Their beautiful (but no doubt brisk) ride out to the yurt paled in comparison to Shannon’s visit to the biffy, which is a good distance away from the round tent. In terms of bathroom tension, it must have rated up there with the shower scene from “Psycho.”
Shannon told the Associated Press it all unraveled when she dropped her drawers. “I got out there and sat down on the toilet and immediately something bit my butt right as I sat down. I jumped up and I screamed when it happened.”
Brother Erik was quick to the rescue of the damsel in distress in the dunny. On hearing his sister’s screams, he hot-footed it across the cold snow. Erik made a cursory inspection of the injured tush and thought perhaps a squirrel was the responsible party. But then his eyes darted the depths of the privy. “There’s a bear down there!” he shouted. “We’ve got to get out of here now!”
Rear-end repairs were quickly accomplished with a first-aid kit. The damages weren’t severe, but the decision was made to seek medical attention if it turned sour. One can only imagine the additional trauma a ride back on a snowmobile might have inflicted, after being bit on the butt by a bear.
After waiting out the night, the next day’s light revealed bear tracks around the yurt and right near the privy. Game experts who later came and evaluated the tracks think it’s likely that the bear in the biffy was a black bear. The conclusion was substantiated when, a couple days later, a neighbor reported encountering a black bear snuffling around. It wasn’t responsive to the neighbor’s aggressive shooshing, and it’s possible the bear was in a groggy, hibernation mode.
The end of the story
So how do you get bit in the butt by a bear in the outhouse? Apparently Erik Steven’s outdoor water-closet has a back door, down in the basement receiving area. It’s possible the bear thought this would make an ideal bedroom, until Shannon rudely interrupted the nap. Authorities suggest that Shannon’s damaged derrière may not have necessarily been bitten. They suggest she may have had her seat swatted.
No matter. If you’ve ever worried about finding a snake in the bowl, you may now add bears in the biffy to your nightmare list.
Photo: Elgaard on wikimedia commons