Costco Is No Longer Just The Go-To Shopping Spot For Humans

Grocery theft is real and it's a problem for customers that patronize the Costco in South Anchorage, Alaska. But the petty criminals aren't likely to be caught red-handed because, well, they have no hands. 

Unsuspecting customers say they have been losing meat purchases to hungry ravens who have been on the lookout for fresh meat, and they'll stop at nothing to get it. 

Olani Saunoa tells the Anchorage Daily News that she has been victimized by the marauding ravens not once, but twice. Last winter, they took a pack of short ribs from her cart while she was tucking her baby into the car seat. "The first time we thought, 'Once in a lifetime kind of thing, this is never going to happen again.' But sure enough a year later, same Costco. This year, it was a pack of pork ribs that they had gotten into," she said.

"I've been here my entire life, dealt with the ravens but never ever had this happen to me, ever," Saunoa adds. 

The unkindness of Costco ravens

Saunoa is not the only one who has had to give up her food purchases to an unrepentant offender. "Omg yes! My husband's cart got attacked in the parking lot and lost some short ribs. We returned the package and they said many people return meat due to raven attacks. They also mentioned it is a problem at their corporate distribution warehouse. Ravens have a lot of bacteria on their beaks, so I got weirded out and returned it after marinading it in a bag and they still took it," shared one shopper on social media (via Facebook). 

While shoppers might not be too amused by the thieving habits of the feathered fiends, they can take heart in knowing that they are being outsmarted by one of the smartest birds in the animal kingdom. Scientific American says young ravens (which are collectively known as "an unkindness," per Deutsche Welle) have been known to exhibit brain activity equal to that of adult chimpanzees and orangutans. 

So if you happen to go to that particular Costco and you see a growing unkindness of ravens lurking about, know that the word is out about the smorgasbord available in the parking lot. As one Facebook user said, "Definitely have noticed how they are hanging out in packs now ... more than just one or two. More like 8-10 now." Consider yourself warned.