A bakery in Connecticut had to delay its opening after a bear broke into the premises, charged at an employee, then gorged itself on cake. Nobody was hurt, but as camping season gets into full swing, it's a timely reminder to keep all food and drink well out of the reach of wild animals.
The incident took place at Taste by Spellbound in South Windsor on Wednesday, May 24. "Never thought I think I’d say this, but we had a bear come into our bakery and charge one of our ladies," the business wrote on Facebook. "We’re safe but the cupcakes aren’t."
Kitchen supervisor Maureen Williams was loading a van in the garage where products are stored before being dispatched to different shops.
"I came out of the door this morning, came to the right side of the transit to put something in it and noticed something move out of the front left corner of the transit and it was a bear," Williams told Fox61.
She explained that she tried to shut the doors to stop the animal raiding the cakes, but it became aggressive.
"As soon as I did that, the bear quickly turned and charged back towards me and so I had to high tail it quickly out the door into the back of the bakery and shut the door," she said.
Left to its own devices, the animal made its way through 60 cupcakes and a quantity of coconut cake before staff managed to flush it out of the premises. Police attended the scene later, and the bakery's landlord has been working with the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection to assess what happened.
A fed bear is a dead bear
Bears usually prefer to avoid close encounters with people, but it's possible that this particular animal had become habituated through regular contact. This is extremely dangerous for both people and animals. Not only could the bear injure a person if it feels threatened, it may also need to be euthanized if it becomes a risk to public safety. As the National Park Service (NPS) says, a fed bear is a dead bear.
Bears that approach human settlements in search of food are also an easier target for poachers, and are more likely to be hit by a car.
If you're planning a camping trip in bear country, make sure you check local rules before you head out to ensure you are properly prepared. While eating, always keep your food within arm's reach and never turn your back on it. In some National Parks you can store food in a locked vehicle during the day, provided it is out of sight and the windows are up. At others, all food must be removed and stored in bear-proof lockers.
Always wash up immediately after eating, and never eat close to your sleeping area or in your tent. For more advice, see our guides what to do if you meet a bear, and wildlife safety: eight tips for unexpected encounters.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.