Shoppers in a grocery store in Alaska were in for a shock when a young black bear cub walked through the automatic doors into the store, then climbed onto the produce display looking for a way to escape the excitement.
KRBD Radio in Ketchikan reported that police were called to the Tatsuda's IGA after the manager reported the bear cub had wandered into the store and had jumped onto the produce case where it was pacing back and forth on top of the vegetables.
Co-owner Katherine Tatsuda said the young cub seemed to be fascinated by his image in the mirrored glass behind the display. She said she thinks the wild animal was afraid after entering the busy store. Shoppers crowded around the bear cub, some filming it with their cellphone cameras, adding to the confusion.
The cub was finally captured by a brave shopper, taken outside, and released. KRBD reported the mother had not been seen during the incident, and it wasn't clear if the cub was an orphan.
Tatsuda said they were forced to throw away thousands of dollars worth of fruit and vegetables, before sanitizing and restocking the display case with fresh produce.
A Fish and Game Wildlife Biologist with the state of Alaska said the cub was unusually small for this time of year. He said the cub appeared to be about 20 pounds, but should weigh 50 to 60 pounds for a cub born in February. The biologist said they hoped the cub was able to reunite with its mother, because it was not old enough to survive on its own.
This is the second report of bear cubs making contact with humans in the past few weeks. A video recently went viral of two bears cubs wrestling in the road at Yosemite National Park. The black bear cubs in that video eventually followed their mother into the woods.
In Whistler, B.C. a black bear was caught on video as it raided a pizza shop, helping itself to several slices from the display before it left the crowded restaurant.