A Bear Walks Into A Bar…

Throwing out visitors who overstay their welcome is a common late night practice in downtown bars. But one guest last night was particularly unwelcome at the Alaskan Hotel & Bar.

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Around 9:15 p.m., C. Scott Fry, the hotel and bar manager, watched the black bear walk down the sidewalk past the hotel lobby.

“And as soon as he got to the bar door, it made a left and walked in like he wanted to have a beer,” Fry said.

Ariel Svetlik-McCarthy was tending bar last night. She says it had been quiet up to that point. She realized the bear was inside and freaked out.

She yelled, “No bear! Get out! No! You can’t be in here!’”

Within seconds, the black bear obliged. It looked underage, too, she quips.

Area management biologist Ryan Scott with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game recalls bears visiting Bartlett Regional Hospital and private homes. But, he says, bears going inside buildings is rare.

“Sounds to me like they did great, and it’s good news the bear did oblige,” Scott said.

Alaska wildlife officials have put down two nuisance bears in Juneau this summer.

Jeremy Hsieh is the deputy managing editor of the KTOO newsroom in Juneau. He’s a podcast fiend who’s worked in journalism since high school as a reporter, editor and television producer. He ran Gavel Alaska for 360 North from 2011 to 2016, and is big on experimenting with novel tools and mediums (including the occasional animated gif) to tell stories and demystify the news. Jeremy’s an East Coast transplant who moved to Juneau in 2008.

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