Skip to main Content
Alaska News

Bear trapped in entryway 'freaks out' as it tries to escape

  • Author: Laurel Andrews
  • Updated: December 2, 2017
  • Published October 21, 2012

A black bear that trapped itself in the arctic entryway of a Ketchikan house caused more than $1,000 in damage as it tried to escape, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Troopers received a report around 7:30 a.m. Saturday that a black bear was stuck in the arctic entryway of a house near mile 12 of the North Tongass Highway. The door to the entryway hadn't been properly latched after the homeowner let out his cat, according to Beth Ipsen, a spokeswoman for Troopers.

Authorities believe trash and a freezer in the entryway attracted the "big" black bear. Once the bear entered, it knocked over the trashcan, which shut the door behind it, trapping it inside the entryway.

The bear "freaked out," Ipsen said, leaving claw and bite marks all over the entryway. The bear just "tore it up," she added, causing at least $1,000 in damages.

Once the homeowner realized there was a bear stuck in the entryway, he called troopers and headed to the roof, where he stayed until authorities arrived.

Troopers arrived to find the black bear "mad as heck." They used a 10-foot-long piece of wood to unlatch the door and wedge it open. Once the door was cracked open, the bear opened it the rest of the way and ran off.

The bear didn't eat anything. Troopers believe it "probably traumatized himself," and since he didn't eat any of the garbage, they think it will probably not turn into a "problem bear" seeking out human food.

Ipsen noted it is important to keep all trash in and around residences properly secured.

Bears can cause a great deal of damage in a panic -- or even while having a good time.

Earlier this year in Canada, a bear stuck in a car completely totaled it from the inside out. And in Norway, a family of bears destroyed a cabin while consuming 100 beers and all of the food inside the shelter.

Contact Laurel Andrews at laurel(at)

For more newsletters click here

Local news matters.

Support independent, local journalism in Alaska.