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Thursday, July 11, 2024

Bears caught on camera raiding Krispy Kreme doughnut van at Alaska military base: "They don’t even care"

Two bears on an Alaska military base raided a Krispy Kreme doughnut van that was stopped outside a convenience store during its delivery route — and the crime was caught on camera.

The driver usually left his doors open when he stopped at the store but this time a sow and one of her cubs that loiter nearby sauntered inside, where they stayed for probably 20 minutes Tuesday morning, said Shelly Deano, the store manager for Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson JMM Express. The bears chomped on doughnut holes and other pastries, ignoring the banging on the side of the van that was aimed at shooing them away, said Deano, who snapped a few photos of the animals chowing down on the treats.

“I was beating on the van and they’re not moving. I could hear them breaking open the packages and everything,” she said. “I was like, ‘They don’t even care.'”

When the bears couldn’t be roused, base security was called and sounded sirens meant to scare away the bears, she said.

The bears eventually came out and wandered in front of the convenience store and gas station a bit before heading into the woods.

It’s not unusual to see bears on base or around the store but nothing like this has happened before, Deano said, adding that the delivery driver now closes his doors when he stops at the shop.

“We’re cautious when we come in, when we leave. When we take out garbage, we do it in pairs, especially if it’s dark,” she said.

Capt. Lexi Smith, a spokesperson at the base, said authorities on base “are aware of this and other wildlife situations throughout the past several months.”

“We urge the public to use caution to ensure you are protecting our wildlife and yourselves. Wildlife may be our neighbor, but they should not be attracted to our human food sources,” she said by email.

Keeping bears away from human food

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game advises people to keep food away from bears inside secure buildings or in bear-proof containers.

“Keeping bears away from human food is perhaps the most important thing we can do to prevent conflicts and confrontations between bears and people,” the department says.

Bears have been known to seek out doughnuts before.

Last year, a bear and her cub removed the screen of an open window to get into a California home — and then munched on a box of doughnuts. In 2017, abear in Colorado caught a whiff of the treats from a doughnut delivery driver’s vehicle and tried to break into the car.

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