Nerve-Racking Moment Black Bear Approaches Woman at Bus Stop Caught On Film

Unsettling footage of a black bear approaching a terrified woman at a bus stop in Canada has sparked renewed calls for people to be careful around bears.

A video of the encounter, which was captioned: "did somebody lose their dog?" was shared to TikTok by photographer Natalie Wannamaker. At the time of writing, it has been viewed 3.2 million times.

It serves as a reminder of the dangers posed by black bears and the best way to navigate these kinds of encounters. According to a hashtag accompanying the clip, the footage was filmed in the Canadian province of British Columbia. It can be viewed here.

@nataliesgeo

When encountering a black bear your safest option is to be gentle and make noise so it doesn’t feel surprised or threatened 🐻 #wildlife #BC #canada

♬ original sound - Natalie Wannamaker

In the video, a black bear can be seen walking up to an unnamed woman sitting at what appears to be a bus stop. Though she edges slightly away from the bear as it begins sniffing at her, the woman makes no attempt to ward the animal away.

Instead, she is seen looking off-camera at someone nearby. A voice is then heard on the clip before the bear moves away from the woman and instead begins sniffing around a nearby garbage bin.

Another voice, which may be that of Wannamaker, is also heard telling the woman to "chill" as the bear makes its way towards the bin. The bear eventually walks off, with the woman who is thought to be Wannamaker heard explaining that it is better to "talk" and make the bear "aware of you."

When encountering a black bear, the Humane Society of the United States states that it is essential to "remain calm and remember that the bear is likely more scared of you than you are of him."

"Attacks by black bears on people are very rare and most black bears can be easily scared away," they said. They recommend you "stand and face the bear directly" while making yourself look "as big as possible" by spreading your arms and legs or using a coat.

They also recommend making "as much noise as possible" by shouting, using pots and pans and other noise-making devices. "In the very rare case that a black bear does attack you, fight back (don't play dead)," they added.

Commenting on her own video, Wannamaker backed the suggestion that the bear may have been drawn to the location due to the content of the garbage can. "Everyone should do their best not to leave garbage lying around so they don't feel drawn to populated areas," she wrote.

SnowyBee39 praised Wannamaker for effectively dealing with the situation.
"You handle that well, wow," they wrote. "I work with bears and biologists that study them!" Wannamaker replied.

Nicucastravet was similarly impressed at how calm the woman in the clip was given the circumstances. "She's way too chill and entertained compared to how I would've probably felt," he said.

There was some debate over how others might have handled the situation. Kevin Lowe139 joked: "My toxic trait is that I would have pet it thinking it was a good boy" with Jodee07 also quipping: "I would 100 percent hug the bear if it came that close to me. Yes, I'm aware I would die."

One viewer, posting as Christena Rose, meanwhile, felt it was no laughing matter and urged people to stay vigilant. "Black bears can be scary dangerous," she warned. "Be careful out there."

Newsweek has contacted Wannamaker for comment.

Correction: 07/12/2022 9:30 E.T. - An earlier version incorrectly identified Natalie Wannamaker as Natasha Wannamaker.

A black bear crossing the road.
Stock image of a black bear cross the road - footage of a bear getting up close and personal to a woman sat at a bus stop has stunned viewers. TenleyThompson/Getty