Last Call: The hungry bears of the Lake Tahoe Safeway

Two bears facing each other
“Need anything at the store?”
Photo: Paul Souders (Getty Images)

Bears can’t get enough of the Safeway in Kings Beach on the north end of Lake Tahoe. Videos taken by a customer last month show a bear rummaging around the produce section, focused but calm, while shoppers keep their distance. (You’ll notice that the video is titled “Part 2”; here’s part 1.)

And here’s Part 3, in which the bear wanders out of the store, complete with its booty of bagged snacks from the grocery store’s vestibule display. Maybe that bear was so pleased with its uninterrupted shopping experience that it spread the word to other bears in the area, because just over a week later, the same Safeway had another ursine shopper, making a careful avocado selection:

Luckily, no one was injured in the course of these bear visits. And because Safeway is also a retailer of non-grocery items like clothing, it’s particularly wild to see the bear near items like crew neck sweatshirts and Hot Wheels displays. The bears seem comfortable with their surroundings, and shoppers appear to be good at keeping their distance, which seems like the most effective way of dealing with hungry megafauna.

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Have you ever experienced anything like this before? We’ve written about deer loose in grocery stores—any other woodland creatures find themselves near your local produce section?

Allison Robicelli is a writer, recipe czar, former professional chef, author of four (quite good) books, and The People's Hot Pocket Princess. Tweet me for recipe help: @Robicellis.

DISCUSSION

Bears would be an upgrade over some of the customers at my local supermarket.