Bear pictured carrying garbage bin in Summerland, B.C.

Click to play video: 'Bear seen carrying garbage can in Summerland'
Bear seen carrying garbage can in Summerland
WATCH: A black bear picked up an empty garbage can, stood on its hind legs and walked away with it. – Apr 8, 2024

A Summerland, B.C., resident said she was shocked to see a curious animal playing near her home last week.

Mikaila Johnson posted several photos to social media of a bear on Cedar Avenue in Summerland on Friday evening.

“My boyfriend was on his way home from work and yelled at me on the phone that there was a bear peeking over our fence at him,” said Johnson.

“By the time I got to the front door, it ran to the backyard.”

Resident takes to social media, posts photos of the hungry bear on Cedar Avenue. Mikaila Johnson / Submitted

Johnson said she watched from her home as the bear went over to her neighbours. That’s when the bear picked up a garbage can with its two front paws and walked away with the bin.

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She shared the pictures to warn neighbours in the area about the bear, adding that, “the person’s garbage bin in the photo was empty.”

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“He looked like a human, or fake. People keep calling me out for Photoshop. I’ve seen quite a few bears, but never one that did that,” said Johnson.

“It was pretty cool to see, but also kind of scary because I can’t even lift a garbage can up like that. I was shocked how it picked up the garbage so swiftly.

“I was never worried about the bears when I lived in the Kootenays, but now I have a toddler. I don’t even want to go outside to do my yard work now.”

Global News reached out to B.C’s Conservation Officer Service (COS) for comment.

“The COS is again pleading with the public to look after their garbage and attractants around their property,” said conservation officer Hailey Gooliaff.

“The COS has already been receiving reports of bears accessing garbage in neighbourhoods across the Central Okanagan.

“Bears will make their way through neighbourhoods in an attempt to find easy food sources. Residents of the Okanagan can keep these bears wild by securing their garbage and other attractants properly until the day of pick-up.”

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According to the COS, officers across the province respond to thousands of complaints regarding bears.

“Most of these conflicts begin when people allow bears to access non-natural food sources,” the COS says on its website.

“Unfortunately, because there are few alternative control methods once bears have learned to access human food, Conservation Officers have no choice but to euthanize those bears.”

The COS says around 950 black bears and 50 grizzly bears are killed every year due to conflicts between people and bears.

More information about being ‘bear smart’ is available online at WildSafeBC.

Click to play video: 'West Kelowna in the spotlight for black bear deaths'
West Kelowna in the spotlight for black bear deaths

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