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Bear Pounds 36 Cans of Beer, Ignores the Busch

Bear Pounds 36 Cans of Beer, Ignores the Busch

Editor’s note: This absolutely real story took place in 2004. Due to Rainier’s release of Pale Mountain Ale, we figured we’d give you a heads up just to make sure you don’t leave any of the good stuff laying around your campsite.

BAKER LAKE, Wash. — Washington State Fish and Wildlife officials discovered a black bear snoozing on Baker Lake resort’s lawn, cozied up next to dozens of empty Rainier beer cans. It seemed the mischievous bear had broken into some nearby camper’s cooler looking for something to quench its thirst.

Rainier Beer

“This is a new one on me,” Fish and Wildlife enforcement Sgt. Bill Heinck said. “I’ve known them to get into cans, but nothing like this. And it definitely had a preference.”

Wait, preference? That’s where the story gets even more interesting believable. The ransacked cooler was initially packed with more than just Rainier cans — it contained a healthy amount of Busch beer as well.

Sgt. Bill Heinck reported that the bear had tried at least one can of Busch, but ignored the rest and opted to crush the Rainier variety instead.

“He didn’t like that (Busch) and consumed, as near as we can tell, about 36 cans of Rainier.”

(More: Rainier Brewing Releases First Beer In Over 20 Years)

Baker Lake, Washington
Baker Lake, Washington

Officials tried to shoo the bear away from the area but the animal choose high ground instead, climbing a nearby tree to sleep it off for another four hours. Eventually they herded it away, only to have it return the following morning.

Finally, the wildlife officials used a large, humane trap in order to capture and relocate the bear far from the premises. If you’re wondering what they used to bait the trap, it was the essentials: doughnuts, honey and, in this case, two open cans of Rainier.


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