Bold bear encounter ‘very rare’ says horseback rider – Nova Scotia

A leisurely horseback ride for Brittany Cameron and her mother recently turned uncomfortable when a young black bear got a little too close for comfort on a trail in Upper North River, N.S.

Cameron and her mother were on their way home July 29 when they noticed the young bear was following them and getting too close.

The pair tried to head back down the trail until they lost sight of the animal, but it kept following them.

“This bear was a little too bold for our liking,” said Cameron. “He was loping down the trail after us.”

Tried to scare bear off

While the animal — which Cameron estimated was about two years old and weighed about 136 kilograms — wasn’t aggressive or territorial, they realized they would need to do something to scare it away.

“He was about 50 feet away from us at this point and we had no real other option other than to try to make ourselves big and scary and scare him off,” said Cameron.

They managed to get their horses to charge at the bear to scare him off, shouting at the animal as they got closer to it. 

“We got 30 feet away from him before he decided maybe we were scary enough to run from. And so he turned around as fast as he could, took off down the road,” said Cameron.

They chased him for another 100 metres until he disapeared into the woods. 

Bear country

Cameron grew up in the area and said she is used to seeing bears all the time. People have trail cameras set up that often capture images of the bears in the area.

“I never thought I would be in a position to be chasing a bear in the forest on horseback but when you live in the woods I guess you never know what’s going to happen,” she said.

Bears frequent the area where Cameron was riding, as shown by this photo taken by a trail camera. (Submitted by Brittany Cameron)

She said 99 per cent of the time, bears are more fearful of humans than the other way around.  

“Our particular interaction was very, very uncommon and very rare. I don’t want to feed fear into people’s minds about bears themselves,” said Cameron.

No mother bear

Cameron said bears will usually only come close to people if they’re investigating smells, food or compost. She said they tend to “get out of your way pretty quickly” if they sense humans.

The biggest concern during the interaction was trying to figure out of there was a mother bear nearby. Thankfully, Cameron said, the bear was alone. 

“If there was a mama present, that could trigger some…

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