In a video posted to Facebook recently, two black bears appear to rear up in a grumpy confrontation in the Tulita, Northwest Territories, garbage dump. Despite the drama of the situation, neither animal appeared to be injured in the tussle, or to have taken any of it very seriously.
Tulita resident Brian McPherson, 25, was in the back seat of a red pickup truck with friends when they threw out their garbage at the dump.
That’s when a bear grabbed one of the bags and walked away.
“There were about four or five bears there at the time,” he said. One of the bears sat near the bear with the new stash of food.
“They started eating and then you could hear them make really weird noises and then they started fighting,” McPherson said. “I think they were fighting over the bag.”
McPherson said seeing the bears fight got a little scary. “They’re not domesticated, so all of a sudden if one bear got hungry and fought the other bear off, it could come to us thinking we have more food — that’s kind of the scary part,” he said.
“My friend Melissa was actually kinda like trippin’ and she was telling her boyfriend Jimmy to ‘reverse the truck, reverse the truck!'”
It was only once they had backed off a bit that they could relax.
“You see it in videos but … until you actually experience it … two big heavy weights going at each other — that’s actually pretty scary.”
He suspects bad weather could be affecting their food supply, leaving them a little edgy.
“If you live here you can see our river is really low … other animals aren’t in that area.”
With files from Katie Toth
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: The garbage polar bears get into is getting into them, CBC News
Norway: Could drones help prevent polar bear attacks on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard?, The Independent Barents Observer
Russia: Russian Arctic town overrun by polar bears, CBC News
United States: After deadly bear attack, hikers in Anchorage, Alaska weigh risks, Alaska Public Media