Nfld. & Labrador

Chicken attracted roof-top bear: driver

A Labrador woman who stopped to photograph of a group of black bears ended up just inches away from one of her subjects – after it jumped on the roof of her car
This photo of a bear on Diane Budgell's car on the the Northwest River Highway was submitted to CBC by Labrador resident Tom Randell. (Tom Randell)

A Labrador woman who stopped to photograph a group of black bears ended up just inches away from one of her subjects – after it jumped on the roof of her car.

Diane Budgell said she was driving on the road from North West River to Happy Valley-Goose Bay Thursday when she spotted three bears near the road.

She stopped, rolled down her window and took a few snaps, but quickly rolled up the window as one of the bears began to walk towards her.

"He put one paw on my mirror and then climbed right up on the hood. He stayed there and just kind of looked at me and then he jumped right up on the roof of the car," she told CBC Labrador Morning Show host Cindy Wall Monday.

Budgell said it happened so fast she was more surprised than frightened.

"I didn't know what to do. I think he was there on the roof for about a minute then [jumped] down," she said.

Budgell didn't stick around to see where the bear went next.

"I left right after that and I went down the road maybe a mile and there was another bear there," she said.

This time she didn't stop

"And I'm not going to stop next time I see a bear," said Budgell, who said her close encounter with a bear left her car with a scratched windshield and roof.

After thinking about it, Budgell believes she knows what attracted the bear.

"I had bought a cooked chicken that day to take home for supper. I think [the bear] smelled that chicken when I opened the window to take the first picture," she said.

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