Insight & Analysis

Bears raid doughnut van on Alaskan military base

Published: Oct 2023

Two hungry bears raided a Krispy Kreme doughnut van that had stopped outside a convenience store during its delivery route on an Alaskan military base.

Bear licking its lips whilst in a bin

The delivery driver left his doors open when he stopped at the store, and the sow and one of her cubs who were loitering nearby, strolled inside where they remained for over 20 minutes, said Shelly Deano, the store manager for Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson JMM Express. The bears munched on doughnuts and other goodies, and they were so engrossed in their snacking, they ignored the banging on the side of the van that was meant to shoo them away.

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

Eventually military base security had to be called to sound their sirens to try and scare away the bears.

The bears finally appeared from the doughnut van, strolled past the store and gas station before wandering off into the woods.

It’s not unusual to see bears on the base or around the store but nothing like this has ever 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.

A spokesperson at the base, Captain Lexi Smith 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 neighbour, but they should not be attracted to our human food sources,” she said.

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