Canadian Bear Politely Rings the Doorbell to Say Hello

Written by Angie Menjivar
Updated: March 29, 2023
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Key Points

  • Black bears consider human fare to be especially tasty and are frequently drawn to residences and businesses thanks to a supremely keen sense of smell.
  • Feeding them is highly discouraged to prevent them from getting accustomed to approaching humans for a tasty morsel or two.
  • Not all bears are as well-behaved as the bear in this story (Canadian or otherwise): Most bruins prefer to smash their way into homes in the hopes of indulging their love of human food.

Canadians have a long-standing reputation for being some of the nicest, most polite, and most helpful people on the planet. Apparently, these traits carry over to their bear population.

Mother bear gently nibbles at her cub as the lie on the grass

Mother bear gently nibbles at her cub as they lie on the grass.

©Susan Kehoe/

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In Whistler Village, a town north of Vancouver, British Columbia, there are approximately 50 black bears. They call the forests and mountains surrounding this town home, but it’s not uncommon to see them venture into the village.

Black bears are most active during the summer at both dusk and dawn which is when they go out to look for food. Whistler Village takes bear safety very seriously. Locals know the bear rules, and visitors are constantly reminded by lodge and ski resort owners not to approach the wildlife and never to give them human food.

A single reckless action like this can present a danger for all.

Black Bear Population by State

Black bears frequently approach homes drawn by the tantalizing smell of food


Bear in Whistler Village Rings the Doorbell

This video begins with a black bear front and center. This bear has casually ventured into the town and is standing outside a house with two solid, closed doors. As if it’s been invited, it looks up expectantly at the doors, wondering why they aren’t opening.

It sniffs around the side of one door, taking in the likely delicious aromas emanating from the kitchen. This is a patient yet curious bear, and it seems it’s trying to figure out how he can get his paws on some of the good stuff he smells.

The bear sniffs around a bit more and then spots the doorbell. It’s like you can hear its thoughts. “Ah, here we go!” It jumps up, resting its weight on its hind legs, and takes two massive bear paws to the doorbell.

The camera was zoomed in on it throughout the beginning part of the video, but the camera zooms out at this moment, and you can really appreciate the size of this black bear. Once standing, it nearly reaches the top of the door, and with an outstretched paw, it could likely touch the awning over the door.

It taps at the doorbell, takes a couple more sniffs at the door, and seems to realize this isn’t a gathering it was invited to, after all. Perhaps a bit disappointed but still polite about it, the bear walks away from the door and makes its way through trees and bushes away from the home.

Are Bears Really That Fond of Human Company?

black bear

Nimble and clever, black bears are not above trying their paws at burglary in the hopes of obtaining a meal

© Crossman

They certainly are fond of the comforts and the delights to be found around humans. The waft given off by a barbecue, the smell of baking cookies, or fresh apple sauce – if they can smell it, they want it.

They’re also not above squeezing through tight spots — any space the size of their heads will do. And they are generally not all as well behaved as that youngster that rang the doorbell.

Case in point – a certain black bear that conducted a midnight visit to a home in Truckee, California, where it helped itself to a meaty supper, followed by two pints of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream for dessert. Two brave teens found themselves holding the door shut against the marauding bruin in a terrifying standoff waiting for the police to arrive.

Black bear getting into household garbage
This Black bear decided it was easier to get into the garbage bin than ring the doorbell.

Thankfully the story had a happy ending and a warning shot from a deputy saw the burgling mammal off. Ursines’ love of human food and that sweet tooth mean extra vigilance is called for if you happen to live in bear territory. This means keeping your surroundings scrupulously clean, using bear-resistant trashcans and security bars if necessary to secure doors and windows.

Black Bear Population by State

Black bears are rapidly becoming accustomed to urban environments and the new and exciting smells and tastes they bring

©jo Crebbin/

The photo featured at the top of this post is © BGSmith/

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About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a writer at A-Z-Animals primarily covering pets, wildlife, and the human spirit. She has 14 years of experience, holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and continues her studies into human behavior, working as a copywriter in the mental health space. She resides in North Carolina, where she's fallen in love with thunderstorms and uses them as an excuse to get extra cuddles from her three cats.

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