During a drive to Happy Valley-Goose Bay this past Sunday, Lisa Baikie came across a bear sitting in the middle of the road. She pulled over, and was quickly greeted by the furry hitchhiker.
“There was a white pickup truck stopped there, so of course I had to pull over and stop, and Mr. Bear decided to just come over and have a look around the car,” Baikie told CBC.
She was able to film and snap a few pictures of the bear, who circled the car and eventually hopped up to the window to get a better look.
“I think he must have smelled either the food in the car or my dog’s fur, because as soon as I stopped he turned around and looked at the car … and he popped up in the window and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh!'” Baikie said.
The entire encounter lasted about ten minutes. Though fascinated by the close proximity to the wild animal, Baikie knew to keep some distance. She left the car in drive, with the windows locked.
“He was just curious. So when he sat back down then I slowly eased away so I could make sure I could get away and he just sat on the road and I looked in the rearview mirror and he was just sat in the road watching me drive away.”
Due to the level of comfort around humans, it’s very likely this bear has been fed in the past. Unfortunately, when bears become habituated (and lose their natural fear of humans), they can be unpredictable and aggressive. Once habituated, very little can be done about the bears, and they are often put down.
“He just seemed very gentle, just curious … I think he was used to being around people and vehicles without feeling threatened. Unfortunately, that happens with a lot of animals around here between camps and stuff like that … and it is sad to see because you always wonder what’s gonna happen to them.”