A Brief History Of Animals Eating Stuff They Shouldn't

Seagull thefts, unfortunate bear encounters, crafty ravens—here are some of our favorite human/animal food fights.

Society has advanced past the need for Pizza Rat. Yes, we have Pizza Squirrel—but we also have Tim Hortons Raccoon, KFC Seagull, and Bagel Duck. Humans and animals have been competing for resources since early man first yanked a fish out of a bear's mouth and screamed, "Mine! My fish!" With this in mind, food-related human/animal encounters are inevitable. Here are some of our favorite stories of animals swiping food that we've had the pleasure of sharing with readers.

When bears eat treats, bad things happen

If God didn't want humans to feed bears, He shouldn't have made them so damn cuddly-looking, right? However, they are still wild animals, and feeding wildlife is never a great idea—which is why a husband and wife in Castle Rock, Colorado, got slapped with a citation for slipping local bears a few extra treats.


According to a press release issued by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), the unnamed couple was cited after CPW received "multiple complaints" about residents feeding bears. Officers determined the couple had been feeding their bear friends for more than a year—misbehavior that can result in thousands of dollars in fines.

Why? Because attracting bears to your property attracts other wild animals to the area, which can, in turn, lead to an increase in "human-wildlife conflict." That can involve bears busting into trash, garages, and even homes in search of a tasty morsel. And, yeah, that can lead to bear attacks. It can also lead to forced euthanasia as wildlife officials work to prevent these kinds of conflicts. In conclusion, don't feed bears.


Raccoons will help themselves to whatever’s in your cupboard

Readers, allow me to present the Danny Ocean of the animal kingdom. Let's show some appreciation for the World's Best Raccoon, a cunning lad who made his way into a Tim Hortons in Toronto and helped himself to some delicious snacks from a cabinet. Late last year, a Reddit user snapped a pic of the fellow with the caption, "Timmies employee refuses to wear mask on the job."


The post has been since deleted, but screenshots are still floating around the internet. The photo shows the sizable raccoon opening a cabinet while a Tim Hortons employee in the background makes a phone call, presumably to Animal Control, or to the RBI (Raccoon Bureau of Investigation).

Delivery in 30 minutes or less—or the bears will come for you

Imagine this: you're snoozing in bed, your pizza delivery vehicle parked in your driveway outside, when suddenly, your hear honking: a black bear has broken into your car. Such was the unfortunate case of one Alaska man last summer. There was no pizza in the car at the time, but that didn't stop the bear from conducting a thorough search—smells like food, so there must be food—and completely trashing the interior of the vehicle.


"I think it was the delicious smell of the pizza that drove the bear to the point where he could not resist the urge to go into the car," the delivery driver told the Juneau Empire. "It's pretty totaled on the inside. The seat belt was ripped completely out. The panel where the stereo is (is) ripped off." Remember what we said earlier about hungry bears wandering into bear-free zones? It's nothing to mess with.

Five-Alarm Fido starts kitchen fire in pursuit of pizza

Who among us hasn't accidentally caused a little mayhem in our excitement for pizza? That's exactly what happened to a dog in Austin, Texas, who ignited a bit of a blaze while reaching for a slice. The fire started when the canine in question caught wind of a delicious pizza scent wafting from its owner's stovetop. The pup tried to snag a bite and inadvertently switched on the stove burner, causing a small kitchen fire.


No one was harmed, although damages were estimated to be around $1,000. It's unclear whether or not the Very Good Little Dog Gentleman ever got to taste the pizza. Regardless, the Austin Fire Department responded quickly and the fire was contained to the stove and kitchen.

Seagull grab-and-go

TikTok is full of treasures, including a video of one of our favorite human-animal food encounters. In the video, we see a seagull snatching a KFC wrap right out of a young man's mouth.

The event occurred in an unassuming parking lot in Glasgow, Scotland, where the victim was snacking on a wrap from KFC. Suddenly, a rogue seagull swooped in for a bite, cramming its cursed beak into the lad's mouth. The bird managed to steal a bit of the wrap before flying away, back to the foul nest whence it came. The TikToker wrote: "My brother bought a flaming hot wrap from KFC and we were waiting outside for someone to pick us up. In the process my brother got hungry so started to eat the wrap and that's when the seagull thought it would benefit himself more than [my brother]."


We wish we could say this is atypical seagull behavior, but dozens of YouTube compilation videos suggest otherwise.

Mother ducks know best

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially when you're a mother duck wrangling a gaggle of little ones. Recently, an adventurous mother duck steered her babies straight through the front door of Bagel World, a bagel shop on 5th Avenue and 4th Street in Brooklyn, NY. The ducks' visit was relatively short; the little crew did a cursory loop around the store before heading out, at which point an onlooker exclaimed, "Best bagels in town!"


The happiest place on Earth (if you’re a bird)

In more startling avian news, a Disney World guest was reportedly enjoying a serving of pulled pork mac and cheese earlier this summer when a confident bird suddenly swooped on in and helped itself to the meal. The bird forced its way onto the fully occupied table and managed to eat some of the mac and cheese before a Disney cast member intervened and shooed their new feathered friend away. The diner was offered a free replacement portion of mac and cheese, at least. Here's the best part: apparently it happened nine other times within an hour.


The birds who love discount meat

Earlier this year, the Anchorage Daily News reported that a Costco in Anchorage, Alaska, was besieged by meat-loving ravens who snatched items from shoppers' carts. One woman even suspected the birds of grabbing a filet mignon from a four-pack she'd just bought. Another witness saw a raven fly away with an entire pack of short ribs. In a Facebook post, one commenter described the birds as "calculating." Another wrote: "Had 1 trying to distract me while the other went for my mini watermelons." Think twice before shopping at Costcrow Wholesale.


Behold, a disturbingly agile canine counter surfer

Some dogs wait for a passing human to grant them a treat. Other dogs take what they want, consequences be damned. (See Slide #4.) In the latter category, The Indian Express shared a viral clip of what may be the world's craftiest dog snatching food directly out of a skillet.


In the 15-second clip, we see a sporty black dog—possibly some kind of Shepherd mix—standing on its hind legs while scooting a chair across the kitchen floor. Unaware that his owner is recording the crime, the dog pushes the chair to the stove, climbs onto the chair, and helps himself to food sitting in a skillet on a stove. If you think the dog's antics are too good to be true, you aren't alone. "Dogs aren't supposed to be able to figure this out (i.e. the leash around the pole thing)," one Twitter user wrote. "Either this dog has breakthrough intelligence, or someone taught him to do it." Personally, as the owner of a very naughty beagle, I've learned that anything is possible when a dog wants a snack.