The staff at the Highliner Lodge in Pelican were prepping for a dinner service when the surprise guest walked in through the back of the restaurant, the lodge wrote in a detailed Facebook post. Owner Steve Daniels thought it was a prank until the head chef showed him the bear eating and sniffing around kitchen supplies.
Daniels told the Juneau Empire that “pandemonium” ensued when that evening’s 30 guests learned a bear had crashed their dinner.
In an effort to scare the young beast away, Daniels and the head chef threw a salami and dinner plates at the animal, according to the post. The bear retreated outside at the sound of the crashing plates, allowing Daniels to shut the door and lock the intruder out.
The bear had reportedly been a nuisance in the area over the past week. Pelican Public Safety Officer Robert Adams told the Juneau Empire he had made unsuccessful attempts to scare the bear away from the town dump with non-lethal means such as air-horns and rubber bullets.
While Daniels succeeded in shooing the bear out of the lodge, it continued to linger outside, eating berries and twice walked onto the porch to look for a way back inside, the lodge wrote.
Adams put the bear down after deeming its behavior a serious threat to the community, the newspaper reported. Daniels said the officer shot and killed the bear and it “didn’t suffer.”
Alaska Department of Public Safety spokesman Ken Marsh confirmed to Fox News in an email that while the agency wasn't involved in the confrontation, wildlife troopers responded after the fact to investigate and assisted in removing the carcass.
It is legal to kill a bear in the state if it threatens a person’s life or property, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said. Bears killed in such a way belong to the state, which salvages the hide and carcass.