‘Something bit me’: Alaska woman using outhouse attacked by bear

Bear Essentials

HAINES, Alaska — It wasn’t quite the outhouse scene from “Jurassic Park,” but for an Alaska woman, it was still scary.

An Alaska woman using an outhouse in Chilkat Lake felt a sharp sting when she sat down, the Anchorage Daily News reported. That pain came from a bear that was lurking below the outhouse, the newspaper reported.

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“I just sat down and the thing bit me right away,” Shannon Stevens, of Haines, told the Daily News. “I jumped up, screamed, screamed for my brother.”

Stevens’ brother, Erik Stevens, rushed over when he heard his sister shout.

“She screamed, ‘Something bit me,’” Erik Stevens told the Daily News. “I’m thinking, ‘Oh, there’s probably a mink or some smaller animal in there.’ Then she screamed again, ‘I’m bleeding.’”

Shannon Stevens spent the weekend with her brother and his girlfriend at a remote yurt on Chilkat Lake, KTOO reported.

The group traveled across the frozen lake by a snowmachine on Saturday, then cooked sausages over an outdoor firepit, the television station reported.

Later that night, Shannon Stevens went to the outhouse.

“Normally, when we are out there in the summer or the fall I’m used to shouting ‘Hey, bear!’ the whole way,” Shannon Stevens told KTOO. “It was the dead of winter, so I didn’t think to do that this time,” Stevens said. “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.”

She called for her brother immediately.

“She was still standing there with her pants down,” Erik Stevens told the Daily News. I said, ‘What bit you? Where is it?’ And she said, ‘In the hole.’ I shined the headlamp and opened the lid, and right there at the level of the toilet seat was a cinnamon-colored bear face, big enough to fill the hole.”

The Stevens siblings closed the lid and ran back to the yurt. Shannon Stevens was bleeding, so her wounds were treated and bandaged, according to KTOO.

On Sunday, the outhouse was empty. The siblings investigated and found large animal tracks leading from the fire pit, the Daily News reported.

The outhouse was built on top of a root wad, high enough above the ground for a wolverine or small bear to squeeze through.

“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,” Erik Stevens told KTOO. “He probably just pushed the rocks over and got down into the hole.”

“I believe it was a bear as do my colleagues,” Alaska Department of Fish and Game wildlife biologist Carl Koch told the Daily News. “I have heard stories of people having scares near outhouses in the spring and summer when bears are normally out, but never in winter and definitely not from underneath while sitting down.”

Shannon Stevens said her experience taught her a valuable lesson.

“I mean, I’m definitely going to look down in the hole next time,” she told KTOO.