7 Most Hilarious Bear Encounters That Went Wild

The craziest, funniest, most unexpected ones.

Bears—in the social media era, they're a reliable source of awws, irony, horror, or some postmodern mashup of all three. It's a long way from the omnipresent childhood calmitude of Winnie the Pooh (whose depiction is now in the public domain, so all bets are off). But in the meantime, here are seven of the craziest, funniest, most unexpected bear encounters in recent months. 

"We're Going to Be Famous"

David Oppenheimer

In Asheville, North Carolina—a place that has become a hotspot for viral bear sightings, more on that in a minute—a black bear cub wandered up to a man who was relaxing outside his house with his phone and a cup of coffee.  David Oppenheimer's doorbell cam captured the young bear inching toward him, until the cub was just inches from the homeowner's foot. "Hi bear," he said to the animal. "We're going to be famous," he said, clearly thinking of the security cam's viral potential. "It's OK, I didn't mean to scare you," he says gently, then telling the youngster, 'You shouldn't come this way."

Bear Breaks Into Car, Drinks Dozens of Sodas

CBC News

Last September, a black bear in British Columbia, Canada, broke into a woman's car and drank dozens of cans of soda she'd left inside. Sharon Rosel said her dog's barking woke her up at 3 a.m. That's when she discovered the bear by her car, surrounded by shattered glass. "He was drinking massive amounts of soda," she said. Out of 72 cans, the bear drank 69, said Rosel, who owns a food truck and had bought the soda for her business. The animal seemed to like Orange Crush most. "You could hear him slurping it the whole time," Rosel told CBC News. "And he didn't break them open with his claws as you would think he would. He used his teeth every time, and they were like, snapped in half. And I could hear him drinking away. I hope he didn't cut his tongue on some of that metal."

Bear Interrupts Toddler Birthday Party, Scarfs Cupcakes


Last September, a 2-year-old's birthday party in Connecticut was interrupted by a sugar-craving bear. Laura Durst was having an outdoor party for her young son when a bear appeared and sniffed a guest. The adults grabbed the kids and ran for the safety of the garage. What happened next went viral. The bear loped over to a picnic table and helped itself to cupcakes. The party guests got into their cars and honked their horns, and others yelled at the bear to scare it away, but the animal was unfazed. It sat there, snacking away. A family member captured the bear on video. Ironically, the song "Bear Necessities" from Disney's The Jungle Book was playing in the background.

Bear Keeps Visiting 7-Eleven

Christopher Kinson

Last September, a 7-Eleven cashier in Olympic Valley, California, was shocked when a large brown bear entered his store on Sept. 6 and started helping itself to junk food—again and again. The store's security camera captured the bear ambling into the store and making a beeline for a candy rack. It grabbed a couple of packages and made a quick exit. "It came in, sniffed around, then scooted out," said cashier Christopher Kinson. "Once it got the food that it wanted, it scooted right out the door." As Kinson watched from behind the counter, the bear returned a second and third time, nabbing more snacks. It was careful to select no more than few items each time. "It's funny. It's like it was purposely polite to take one candy bar at a time," said Kinson. "It's almost like it had manners." After the bear's third shopping trip, Kinson then attempted to fasten the door shut with a garbage bag and a mop. "It grabbed [the food], went out for two or three minutes and came back," he said. "It came in two or three times and then left for 30 minutes, so that's when I blocked the door. You don't want to become their source of food."

Delinquent Refuses to be Rehomed


A mischievous black bear was deemed so disruptive to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park—stealing backpacks from hikers and nabbing food from picnic tables—that she was rehomed at a nature reserve in eastern Tennessee. But the bear decided she liked her previous home and its amenities just fine, and she made that known by trekking 1,000 miles through four states over six months, back to the national park last December. 

Bear Gets Wasted on "Mad Honey"

TC Tarım ve Orman Bakanlığı/Twitter

It got drunker than the average bear: A cub became intoxicated after stuffing itself with "mad honey," to the point that the thoroughly wasted youngster had to be rescued last August. According to the UK Telegraph, a young brown bear was found "visibly intoxicated and disoriented" and "in a stupor on the side of a mountain" on the coast of Turkey's Black Sea. Turns out the bear had binged on deli bal, or "mad honey", which is produced by bees from rhododendron flowers. Some types of rhododendron bushes contain a substance called grayanotoxin. Upon consuming it, both animals and humans can become intoxicated, experiencing hallucinations, dizziness—even temporary paralysis.

Bear Raids Bird Feeder

Albert Araujo/WCTI

And in April 2022, an Asheville, North Carolina, couple filmed a mama bear on their porch, methodically removing a seed-filled bird feeder while her three cubs climbed the railing behind her. "Uh oh, there it goes," the homeowner narrates matter-of-factly. "Taking this with me." 


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