Shannon Stevens, her brother Erik Stevens, and his girlfriend had taken snowmobiles into the wilderness in southeast Alaska to stay at his yurt in Chilkat Lake, 20 miles northwest of Haines. Shannon had gone to use the outhouse, when suddenly, Erik heard Shannon screaming. Erik ran out to the outhouse, located 150 feet away, to find Shannon tending to her posterior wound. At first, they thought she had gotten bitten by something small.
The Alaska woman told the Associated Press, “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.”
But when Erik put his headlamp towards the toilet to see what it was, he came face to face with a bear. That’s right. A bear. He said, “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 Stevens Shows Bear Track
After safely getting inside, they gave first aid to Shannon and decided the bite wasn’t that serious. Shannon said, “It was bleeding, but it wasn’t super bad,” and also explained how they found bear tracks all over the area. However, the bear had clearly left the area. They assumed the bear got into the outhouse through an opening at the bottom of the back door.
Carl Koch, a management biologist at Alaska Department of Fish and Game Wildlife, believes that by the tracks, the bear was a black bear, and a nearby neighbor sent him a picture of a black bear on her property a couple of days later. She had yelled at it, but it didn’t react. He says, “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.”
Remote Area Where Alaska Woman Was Bit in Outhouse
Koch also believes that Shannon’s wound was from the bear scratching her with a paw rather than it biting her. Nevertheless, the location of the bear was definitely a first for him. He said, “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.”
Erik and Shannon both said that they will be carrying bear spray with them at all times when going into the backcountry. She said, “I’m just going to be better about looking inside the toilet before sitting down, for sure.”