Canadian Wildlife is truly unique among any other region in North America. While that statement may be a little biased given my absolute love for all things Canada, it doesn’t take away from my amazing experiences I’ve had here. Sometimes these experiences, such as the one I am about to describe, get just a little too close to home. We take for granted the notion that nature ends at our front door, but the other day I was proven completely and utterly incorrect. After a neighbor of mine filmed a black bear hanging around near our home, my family and I were completely shocked to find our kitchen window screen in shreds and food had been taken right off the counter.
While I can’t personally attest to their overall friendliness, from what I know about the black bear I would have to conclude that I am at least grateful it was a black bear and nothing more dangerous. Black bears are really an amazing bear among the species as a whole. Much smaller than say a grizzly bear or a polar bear, they are among the least likely to attack a human. In fact, out of the roughly 750,000 bears in North America they kill less than one person on average per year, and any attack is usually determined to be of a defensive nature. Given this information, I suppose you could say my first reaction when I saw a black bear on video was fairly low on the panic spectrum, but even so having a bear break into my house was the last thing that I expected.
Perhaps I could have thought a little more in depth about the effects of having a bear hanging around the neighborhood, but having one enter straight into my kitchen last on my list of possible outcomes. Bears have an outstanding, and I mean utterly exceptional, sense of smell among most other species on the planet. The aromas of the neighbor’s BBQ that you can smell on warm summer days are roughly 2100 times stronger from the perspective of the North American Black Bear. Campers, hikers, backpackers and other outdoorsman are highly encouraged to buy specialized containers to prevent any scent of food escaping, otherwise you may have some unexpected visitors on your adventure. At least from my point of view coming from heavily forested regions of Canada this is fairly common knowledge. Even knowing these facts about the Black Bear, leaving food out with an open window while a bear was openly roaming around may not have been the best idea.
Black bears are truly notorious for putting all their brains and muscle into trying to find human food where its available. It is not uncommon for them to rummage through garbage cans and break into cars. I think from here on out we can add another one to that list to include “breaks open kitchen window screens to steal food off of the counter.” While having a black bear break into my house was fairly alarming, I do understand its intentions were certainly fairly innocent and I don’t necessarily feel like anyone in my home is in any danger. However, I will be sure to start closing my windows at night and encourage my neighbors to do the same.