It seems that even our woodland friends sometimes enjoy a taste of the grape or the grain. And like humans, sometimes they enjoy it a bit too much.
Any fan of Hamm's Beer knows that bears and beer go together, but here's a story of a bruin who definitely preferred his own regional brand of beer.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife agents found a black bear passed out on the lawn of the Baker Lake Resort (now the Swift Creek Campground) in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
From clues at the scene the agents learned that the bear had passed out in a drunken stupor from drinking too much beer. Dozens of empty beer cans - at least 36 - were found scattered about, full of the bear's claw and tooth holes.
The bruin went on a binge drinking spree when he found campers' coolers full of beer, puncturing the cans and guzzling as much cold brew as he could handle before passing out.
Even more interesting is that the bear was rather particular in his brand of beer. All but one of the empty beer cans were Rainier Beer.
Apparently the beer snob bear did try one can of Busch beer but didn't care for it, leaving the rest of the Busch cans unopened and sticking with the Rainier beer.
"He drank the Rainier and wouldn't drink the Busch beer," said Lisa Broxson, bookkeeper at the campground and resort.
WDFW agent Bill Heinck also remarked, "This is a new one on me. I've known them to get into cans, but nothing like this. And it definitely had a preference."
While the agents didn't give the bear the classic touch-your-nose-and-walk-a-straight-line sobriety test, they did try to chase the inebriated bruin from the campground.
But the weaving beast was apparently too drunk to find his way home, and instead climbed a tree to sleep it off.
Several hours later they were finally able to escort the bear from the campground. But there's no stopping a bear with a taste for the suds, and he was back the next morning for a little hair of the dog.
This time the wildlife agents were prepared. They set a trap for the bear, erecting a large, humane trap and baiting it with honey and donuts...and two open cans of Rainier beer.
The bear, though probably suffering a wicked hangover, couldn't resist.
He was safely relocated, and is currently attending the woodland chapter of AA.