What could have been the start to a funny joke became a dangerous reality when a bear recently walked into a police station.
Surveillance video appears to show a clever bear get on its hind legs, turn a doorknob and enter the California Highway Patrol’s commercial vehicle enforcement facility in Truckee on November 17.
“We always encourage visitors to stop by and say hi 😂,” the CHP posted on Facebook.
The bear entered the facility, passed a set of vending machines and then exited through the same 34-inch doorway. A pair of officers were seen following the animal with at least one gun drawn, but the bear was allowed to leave peacefully and spend some time exploring the parking lot.
No harm came to any persons or property and reaction to the incident has been full of humour.
“Heard muttering ‘Can never find a cop when you need one’ as he walked out the door,” Mark Williams joked.
“I just wanted to report that I had a picnic basket stolen from me,” wrote John Murray.
“He was going to turn himself in for dumpster diving but decided against it when he read the jail menu,” Julie Hensley said.
Footage of the incident, shot both inside and outside the CHP facility, has been viewed online almost 200,000 times as of this writing.
California’s black bear population has grown over the last 25 years, with estimates currently in the 30,000-40,000 range, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The state’s flag actually features a brown bear but the last Grizzly was killed a century ago.
Efforts to reintroduce the Grizzly bear to the mountainous region have failed.