CHICAGO -- It’s the nature of the business. Demographics can be tricky for convenience-store operators, even with large brains and opposable thumbs, but some convenience-store “customers” defy easy categorization. No, not the Bubbas, soccer moms and millennials, but some of the less-commonplace groups.
Some are hungry, some are lost and some are just curious. Others are, well, thieves. And maybe some are looking for work as a mascot.
But they all have one thing in common. Click through for a bestiary of a few prominent examples of when animals—some wild and some not so wild—decided to pay a c-store a visit. …
Herd this one? A tradition went haywire when two steers running through the streets of Puyallup, Wash., as part of the ceremonial cattle drive that opens the Puyallup Fair each year, took an unplanned detour into a c-store. A cowboy on horseback (no bull!) entered the store and wrangled them back outside.
What’s a ‘zonkey’?
A new Fuel City c-store in in Haltom City, Texas, features a menagerie that is a trademark of the chain. Along with the buffaloes and other animals are Wide and Doublewide, two longhorn steers; Zorro the zebra; Princess the donkey; and Stormy, a zonkey (half-zebra, half-donkey). They can easily be seen, secured behind an 8-foot-tall fence, from cars going through the line for the car wash.
Cody the chocolate Labrador retriever that greeted customers at a Clearwater, Fla., BP c-store for several months is unemployed. A state health inspector issued a warning to the store's owner: Remove the dog or the health department would declare all of the store’s food, beverages and snacks unfit for consumption. The BP-shirted dog is gone.
Yogi Bear may like his “pic-a-nic” baskets, but he generally liberates those goodies from campgrounds in Jellystone Park. In Alaska, however, a grizzly bear reportedly wandered into a c-store and proceeded to trash the place. (Full disclosure: We made a boo-boo. It turns out that this footage was actually shot for a 2014 Chobani Super Bowl commercial. But we included it anyway.)