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Jul 25, 2014

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Rainier wins bear taste test

Campground thief passes on Busch to down 36 cans of Rainier

Aug 18, 2004 - When Washington state Fish and Wildlife agents recently found a black bear passed out on the lawn of Baker Lake Resort, they had a good idea what happened. Dozens of empty cans of Rainier Beer surrounded the bear.

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It apparently got into campers' coolers and used his claws and teeth to puncture the cans. But not just any cans. "He drank the Rainier and wouldn't drink the Busch beer," said Lisa Broxson, bookkeeper at the campground and cabins resort east of Mount Baker.

Fish and Wildlife enforcement Sgt. Bill Heinck said the bear did try one can of Busch, but ignored the rest. "He didn't like that (Busch) and consumed, as near as we can tell, about 36 cans of Rainier."

A wildlife agent tried to chase the bear from the campground, but the animal climbed a tree to sleep it off for another four hours. Agents finally herded the bear away, but it returned the next morning.

Agents then used a large, humane trap to capture it for relocation, baiting the trap with the usual: doughnuts, honey and ... two open cans of Rainier. That did the trick.

"This is a new one on me," Heinck said. "I've known them to get into cans, but nothing like this. And it definitely had a preference."


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