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Woman attacked by bear while sitting on outhouse toilet

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It was a bare-bottomed blitz. 

Alaskan native Shannon Stevens was attacked by a black bear when she went to relieve herself in the outhouse near her brother’s yurt on Saturday night, Feb. 13.

Following a rustic dinner of sausages cooked on an open fire and a day of snowmobiling to the remote hideaway near Chilkat Lake, Stevens became one with nature — to a dangerous degree — when she faced the wild animal hiding out in her brother Erik’s latrine. 

“I got out there and sat down on the toilet and immediately something bit my butt right as I sat down,” Shannon said, according to the Daily Mail. “I jumped up and I screamed when it happened.”

But she initially assumed a small creature like a squirrel had landed the blow. 

What happened next was something out of a horror movie: Erik heard his sister screaming from about 150 yards away. Armed with a headlamp, he lifted the toilet seat to find the wild beast “just right there at the level of the toilet seat, just looking right back up through the hole, right at me.”

Chilkat Lake near Haines in southeast Alaska, where Shannon Stevens was attacked by a black bear.
Chilkat Lake near Haines in southeast Alaska, where Shannon Stevens was attacked by a black bear.
Alamy Stock Photo

Returning to the yurt, the siblings located a first-aid kit to treat Stevens’ wounds, which Erik — whose girlfriend was also on the trip — suspects may have come from a swipe of the bear’s paw.

“It was bleeding, but it wasn’t super bad,” according to Shannon, who was prepared to find further medical help, if needed, in Haines, about 17 miles away.  

The siblings estimate that the smell of the sizzling sausages contributed to the tush offensive by attracting the hungry bear to their camp.

“I’m just going to be better about looking inside the toilet before sitting down, for sure,’” Shannon said. She guessed that the outhouse made a good “little den” for the cold weather.

Carl Koch, a biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Management, noted that bear sightings have been up since a dearth of salmon and berries kept bears from fattening up for the winter, forcing them to venture out in freezing temperatures for a bite of food — or fanny.

“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.

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