It wasn’t the bear’s idea, I’m pretty sure:
A black bear that wandered onto the Alaska Highway near Tok with a coffee can stuck on its head Monday drew a helpful response from passers-by, with one even attempting to remove the container before state biologists arrived.
Randy Rallo, the owner and operator of Tok-based 40-Mile Air, said he was en route to Midway Lake to do maintenance work on one of the company’s floatplanes when he encountered a semitrailer stopped — its driver still in the cab, but not pulled to the side of the road — near Mile 1297 of the highway, about 15 miles from Tok.
“So I pulled up alongside him, and he said there was a black bear walking around with a can stuck on his head,” Rallo said.
The bear was shot with a tranq dart, and then the can was cut away:
Official statement from an official biologist:
[Jeff] Wells emphasized that anyone who encounters a wildlife issue should contact the nearest Fish and Game office rather than deal with it themselves.
“The bear may have looked small, but at the end of the day a 100-pound black bear can certainly do some damage,” Wells said. “If they had removed the can, the first thing they had seen would have been that person.”
Hence the tranq dart.
(Via Amy Alkon, who quipped: “I just want to say that it is totally rude to tweet this picture of me in the morning.” Not buying it. It’s a black bear, she’s a redhead. Although “100 pounds” sounds about right.)