What should you do when you run into a bear? Run? Play dead?
If you’re lucky, you live in a part of the world where this isn’t a question you have to answer.
Well, officers at one California Highway Patrol Office weren’t so lucky. They found themselves reminded of the question when a North American black bear paid them a friendly visit.
An Uninvited Guest?
We would imagine that a highway patrol office doesn’t have as much foot traffic as a normal police department would.
Perhaps it has something to do with all the officers clanking away at their keyboards filling reports or the stream of people trying to find out where their car has been impounded. It doesn’t seem like a great place to just visit.
For this Highway Patrol Department, anyone not wearing a uniform is a surprise.
At the Door
Recently, the Highway Patrol Department in Truckee, California, found themselves in a peculiar situation. A fully grown bear, unfazed by the complexity of human door knobs, simply got on its two feet turned the doorknob and walked in.
You get the impression the bear had experience with buildings. It looked around the room, sniffed around a vending machine, and strolled further into the building.
The footage showing how it all happened shows the bear walk into a room where two officers were going about their business. Of course, they acted fast and sent the bear out the same door it came through in a hurry.
Dumpster Diving in the Parking Lot
Seeing as the bear wasn’t an immediate danger, the two officers let the bear wander off into the department’s empty parking lot without harming it.
Footage from cameras outside the building shows the bear walk up to a dumpster and get on its two feet to look through it. The bear eventually gets bored and leaves.
The Internet’s Take
No one was hurt in the incident, and nothing was stolen by the bear.
The California Highway Patrol shared the footage of the incident with a humorous caption of,
“We always encourage visitors to stop by and say hi.”
You can trust the internet to say something about this. What followed were amazing jokes about the bear filing complaints or turning itself in for dumpster diving, along with a host of other theories and a few puns.
Tips on Encounters With Bears
According to California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife, California has a population of about 40,000 black bears. Naturally, encounters with these furry beasts aren’t uncommon in those parts.
So, what should you do if you find a bear in your backyard or in the middle of your kitchen?
Contrary to what many people think, running is not your best bet. The National Park Service says that sudden movements will provoke the bear into attacking you.
You are advised to speak calmly to identify yourself and walk away slowly while still facing the said bear. Once you’re out of any immediate danger, be sure to alert the relevant authorities so they can deal with the situation.
That said, bears aren’t the vicious creatures that most movies portray them as. Attacking you isn’t usually the first thing on their minds. Keep a calm head and leave slowly and everything should be okay.
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