'Ready to have some popcorn and chill': Bears caught relaxing at northern Manitoba dump

Does a bear sit in the woods? Maybe not, but photographs received by CBC News indicate they do sit at the garbage dump.

Does a bear sit in the woods? Maybe not, but photographs received by CBC News indicate they do sit at the garbage dump.

Mandy Stantic said she was working as a nurse in the northern Manitoba community of Lac Brochet last spring when she snapped several pictures of a black bear sitting cozily on a discarded sofa. 

As people do in many rural and northern Manitoba communities, the Stantics took their daughter for a "northern safari" to the dump to watch the bears. 

But this trip was different. 

"Take a picture!" was her first thought after seeing one of the bears making itself comfortable on the couch. "You don't see that very often. He's just posing, just like a person." 

Stantic said you can't see in the picture that there was a TV in front of the couch, too. "So it just looked like he was ready to have some popcorn and chill," she said.

Stantic's then two-year-old daughter enjoys the view. (Mandy Stantic/Submitted)
"You don't see animals kind of imitating [humans] — sitting with their legs crossed, arms over the chair there."

Stantic has since gone on to a job in South Indian Lake, Man., but said she loved going for drives in Lac Brochet to see both the bears and the wilderness.

"They had lots of lakes, and roads that you could drive on for a good couple miles, despite it being pretty isolated up there."

Lac Brochet is about 1,000 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, accessible only by winter roads or air. 

While the dump wasn't always photogenic, Stantic said it was always fun. 

"Whenever somebody would come up with fresh garbage, the bears would all just come running, like a herd of bears to whatever vehicle was there so they could go through it first," she said.

"Just something different to see. You don't see it that often."