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Bear ransacks Eagle River home; refuses to wear mask


When Eagle River resident Laura Luftkin discovered a black bear had snuck into the basement of her Hiland Road home on Sunday, she feared for her family’s safety because the bear was not wearing a mask.

Luftkin had just arrived home from her bi-monthly trip to the Safeway parking lot to pick up an online grocery order when she heard a clatter behind the door to the basement. A quick look down the stairs revealed a shredded couch, broken window, and a young bruin tangled in Playstation cables. 

“I shouted down the stairs, ‘Hello Mr. Bear! I kindly ask that you wear a mask when you are in our home. May I ask, are you vaccinated?’” said Ms. Luftkin. 

COVID-19 conscious Luftkin tossed a medical mask down the stairs for the bear, but the bear used the mask’s elastic to shoot it back up the stairs like a rubber band before using its claws to slice open and lick out various jugs of cleaning chemicals and automotive lubricants.

“I’m still two weeks away from getting my second Moderna dose, and I certainly didn’t know what his status was. So for everyone’s safety I think it’s best to still take simple precautions,” said Luftkin.

After the bear failed to respond, Luftkin says that she repeated the request, adding that her son was upstairs, and that it was a matter of social responsibility in social situations like this to keep her family protected from the virus’s spread. 

As a last recourse, Luftkin sent a letter demanding apology for the bruin’s refusal to follow the safety protocols for mitigating the virus. She received no response. 

“He essentially broke every CDC recommendation I have read online about how to interact safely in small group settings. It was really frustrating.”

After nearly 45 minutes, during which time the bear tore the washing machine from the wall, shredded the door, knocked over the refrigerator, smashed in the TV, ate two pints of ice cream and defecated on the living room carpet, the bear left by smashing through the sliding glass door onto the deck. 

“I just hope we don’t get COVID after we’ve been so careful,” said Luftkin. “These two-week quarantines after we encounter those few bad eggs who refuse to follow common sense safety measures really get draining.”

The CDC has not yet released conclusive data on whether bears can transmit coronavirus.


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