It was a true bearicade.
A rotund black bear strolled up to an entrance of Duluth’s Miller Hill Mall in the darkness early Wednesday morning and looked around curiously for a while.
Trying to score some sort of freebie?
Bad news, bear: Besides being shuttered for the night, the mall is temporarily closed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Apparently dejected, the bear sat for a spell near the window of the Noodles & Co. restaurant, which is one of several eateries doing takeout and curbside pickup orders.
Mall security officer Ryan Carlson snapped a few photos of the bear, first standing, then lounging.
Carlson, from the safety of a truck, decided to have a chinwag. “I said to the bear: ‘You want to listen to some music?’ ” he said.
He turned up his stereo and as Ed Sheeran crooned “Perfect,” the bear lay down for a while. Music therapy if not retail therapy.
“I think he wants the mall to open,” said mall general manager Katie Kaz, who posted Carlson’s photos on social media.
It wasn’t the first time a wild customer has tried to stop in, Kaz said. In fact, with Miller Creek and forest bordering the parking lot, the mall has seen visits from beavers, fox, rabbits and even coyotes.
All the wildlife will be happy to know that besides restaurants, curbside retail operations are now opening, too, just in time for Mother’s Day, Kaz said.
In the meantime — bear with her — “Our new security detail has arrived,” she said.
It may take a while for the new employee to get its bearings.