Video of bear attacking garbage bin shows importance of securing trash when camping

Black bear on Vancouver Island
(Image credit: Getty)

A wildlife photographer from British Columbia has shared a video of a bear grappling with a garbage bin to illustrate the importance of keeping trash and food properly secured. Jess Findlay , whose work has been recognized in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards, and exhibited in the Smithsonian Museum, shared the clip on his Instagram account last week. 

"Managing attractants is the most important step us humans can take to avoid the unnecessary killing of bears that interface with urban areas," Findlay wrote. "Once habituated to unnatural sources of food in these environments, and humans themselves, bears often become uncharacteristically brazen – which can of course lead to unsafe situations for both parties."

In the video, which you can watch below, a black bear grabs a garbage bin outside a home and attempts to prise the lid open using its claws. Unable to get inside, the animal upturns the bin and eventually leaves.

Bears are currently feeding themselves up in preparation for hibernation (a process known as hyperphagia), which means they'll be more determined and persistent than usual when searching for food. If they're able to break into trash or steal human food from a campsite once, they're likely to try it again in future, which increases the chances of a close encounter with humans.

This isn't just dangerous for people, it also puts the bears at serious risk. In many US states, bears that attack a human are euthanized, even if the person was uninjured.

"Consider how attractants such as unsecured garbage, bird feeders, greasy barbecues, pet food, compost, and fruiting trees may be impacting bears in your area," said Findlay. "This includes when you’re spending time away from home at campsites, day-use areas, etc."

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.