A man who was working in northern Alberta this week had a close encounter with a bear and captured some of it on video.
Kelly Betts was working about an hour and a half south of Grande Prairie on Thursday when he came upon the bear on an oilfield road. He believes the bear was about one to two-years-old.
“There seems to be lots of bears this year,” he said over the phone Thursday night.
“It’s springtime so they’re trying to come out of hibernation and there’s not a lot of food for them — there’s no berries, that kind of thing,” he said. “They’re definitely hungry.”
Betts first saw what he believes was a cinnamon-coloured black bear in the morning while driving to a job site. He said the bear was somewhat shy and ran into the bush, but a few hours later the bear was much more friendly.
“The bear was kind of standing up at the back of my truck and you can see that his head is just barely above. I’m a hunter and I’m out in the bush a lot and as soon as I saw the bear I knew it was a very small bear, not a very mature bear.
“He’s just really young and really curious, not experienced yet so very friendly.”
Video captured by Betts shows the animal walking in the ditch on the side of the road. As it approaches the driver’s-side door, Betts said that’s when he got a bit wary and did up the window.
“When it came to my side… I actually did my window up because I was looking at it in the mirror and I knew it was getting close,” he said with a laugh. “I did the window up so I wasn’t totally comfortable with having the window down.”
The bear presses its nose and mouth right up against the window. The video also captures a clear shot of the bear’s long claws resting on the windowsill.
Betts also saw some other wildlife on Wednesday morning — a calf elk and a cow moose with its newborn calf.
“The moose was the size of a German Shepherd, like the body, and then it’s got this big long neck, big head and long legs. I saw that going to a little pond with its mom. That was pretty cool.”
Betts said he isn’t sure if more wildlife are coming out due to fewer people being out and about amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but there have been reports in Canada and around the world of increased wildlife sightings.