Watch bear ransack dumpster at National Park after careless campers leave it open

Black bear standing on dumpster
(Image credit: Getty)

The National Park Service has reminded campers to make sure they close trash cans and dumpsters properly after a black bear was captured on camera breaking into one that wasn't fully shut.

Rangers from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks shared the video (which you can watch below) on their shared Twitter account (opens in new tab). "Friendly reminder to make sure that all trash receptacles are ALL THE WAY closed!" park officials wrote. "Love, bears (and rangers!)"

Black bears are opportunistic scavengers, and will willingly raid garbage in search of an easy meal, particularly during the fall when they are attempting to lay on fat to see them through winter hibernation. This is a real problem, as it leads to food conditioning, which increases the chances of human-bear encounters.

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If an animal begins to associate people and settlements with food, they will be more likely to seek it out again in future, which can have tragic results. Bears that attack people are often euthanized for public safety, even if they only lash out because they are startled and the person is uninjured, so it's critical to keep food, trash, toiletries, and anything else that smells interesting well out of reach.

Black bears range throughout both Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, where their natural behavior involves foraging for food in woodland, digging and using their powerful claws to pull apart dead wood – techniques that they can easily use on vehicles, tents, and trash receptacles as well.

"If they obtain our food - even just one time - bears begin to break into cars, tents, and cabins," says the NPS (opens in new tab). "They may become aggressive. If a bear becomes a safety hazard, we may have to destroy it. In 2010, we had to kill four bears."

The NPS provides metal lockers for food storage throughout Sequoia and Kings Canyon, and has compiled a detailed guide (opens in new tab) explaining how to keep your items hidden and beyond the reach of bears, which is important to read before you visit.

Cat Ellis
Editor

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 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).