Hiker laughs while bear paws at her unlocked car door

Bear investigating car side mirror
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A hiker has shared a video of her first encounter with a black bear in the Canadian Rockies, prompting alarm from viewers who noticed that the animal could have easily reached her through an unlocked car door.

Nature-lover Eilish Bridey  was delighted to see the inquisitive bear, laughing as it pawed at the car where she was a passenger, and tried to chew on the side mirror until her travelling companion scared it off with the horn. 

"Thanks bud, needed a new a paint job anyways." she wrote on Instagram. "What an INSANE experience. He was so cute, but safe to say the closest I ever want to be! 

The encounter passed without incident, but things could have easily taken a different turn. Black bears are intelligent opportunists, and there are countless records of them breaking into parked cars by opening unlocked doors. In June this year, a security camera in Colorado caught a hungry animal easily opening the passenger door of a parked truck in search of food.

"Bears are smart," officials from Colorado Parks and Wildlife wrote on X (formerly Twitter). "Once humans teach them that cars and homes hold tasty rewards, bears will search for a way inside. They learn quickly how to open doors and windows."

It's possible that the bear Bridey met in the Rockies may also have become food conditioned as a result of other videos feeding it from their cars, hence its bold behavior and willingness to approach vehicles.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.