This Surprising Woodland Shopper Was Spotted In A 7-Eleven

When children's book author Bill Martin first wrote the classic "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" with Eric Carle more than fifty years ago (via Eric Carle), we don't think the tandem would have even considered adding a convenience store visit to the storyline. But even if they had, they probably couldn't have dreamed up the scenario of having a bear hit up a 7-Eleven in search of a snack, yet here we are.

In a TikTok video viewed more than five million times, user Fanu shows a bear making itself at home inside a 7-Eleven store in Lake Tahoe, near the Squaw Valley ski resort, while panicked staff try to scare the woodland creature away (via The Independent). The bear enters the shop by shoving the door open with its paw — triggering the door chime — and then starts sniffing around in search of something to eat. It even practices a COVID-19 safety routine by triggering the hand sanitizer, which missed its paw. Staff could only squeeze out a startled "Oh my goodness" before yelling "HEY STOP" (via Twitter). The frantic pleas for the bear to "get out" fell on deaf ears as the bear calmly proceeded to investigate the freezers for anything that might have tickled its fancy.

Forest creatures are crossing into human areas

While we are certain the 7-Eleven staff must have been both startled and terrified by the encounter, social media couldn't resist having a bit of fun at the expense of the store — and the bear. "This Bear has better manners than some 7-Eleven customers I've encountered," one Twitter user mused. "I would trust that bear to behave more than any of the other usual 7-Eleven visitors. Already has a tag, so it's no stranger to dealing with hoomanz," another Twitter user said, pointing to the very visible yellow tag hanging from the bear's right ear. And as this social media user pointed out: "At least he used the hand sanitizer!"

Unfortunately, this isn't the first time a forest creature has decided to take a closer look at how humans live. Just days ago, a bear decided to check out what it was that made KFC so popular by breaking into a California home to steal a bite of its famous fried chicken. And animals breaking and entering human spaces may be something we all need to get used to, because as George Mason University urban ecology teacher Travis Gallo put it: "Animals are just savvy, and they're starting to adapt because development is pushing them into cities" (via The Pew Charitable Trusts).

The blurring of the line between city and countryside has at least one upside — humans don't need to go far to encounter a wild animal anymore.