A little black bear managed to sneak its way into a Montana ski lodge and gave guests and patrons a “once in a lifetime experience.”
Montana is bear country. We know this because the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks department regularly posts updates on their website about various run-ins the locals have with black and grizzly bears. Those bears are also "increasingly active in the fall months seeking food before denning season."
Even still, you don’t expect to find one in the women’s bathroom of a ski lodge.
But that's exactly what happened at Buck’s T-4 Lodge And Restaurant in Big Sky, Montana. A yearling black bear managed to come in through the window and then laid itself out on the bathroom counter.
This being Montana, guests were surprised by composed by the bear's sudden appearance. The bear, perhaps being too young to know any better, was also composed and even seemed to snooze over two bathroom sinks.
Guests were able to take snapshots and film the young bear while co-owner and general manager David O’Connor contacted the country sheriff's office.
"We heard a bit of a racket in the lobby... Sure enough, the bear had found a window with enough of an opening to get into the ladies' room by the lobby," O'Connor told CNN in an interview.
We had a surprise visitor last night in the hotel lobby. A yearling black bear found its way through a window into the ladies' room. Huge shoutout to Gallatin County Sheriff's Office and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks for keeping our guests safe, while recognizing what a once-in-a-lifetime experience it was. They were professional and safe, and provided a great opportunity for folks to learn a little bit about wildlife management. #buckst4 #visitbigsky #yellowstonecountry #beyondyellowstonePosted by Buck's T-4 Lodge & Restaurant on Sunday, September 1, 2019
"The bear wasn't able to get himself back out as the window was too high, but he was real comfortable there. He just hung out on the counter where it was cool, and literally went to sleep."
The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office eventually arrived with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, who then extricated the bear with the use of a mild tranquilizer. Once out of commission, the bear was then carried away and released once the effects of the drug had worn off.
During that process, lodge patrons were able to grab quite a few snapshots of the sleeping teddy bear. Wildlife officials warn against bears becoming habituated to humans, but a sleeping bear is fair game.