Nfld. & Labrador

'Up jumped the bear': Nipper's Harbour man has 'startling' encounter with cub

By accident, Brad Perry got up close and personal with the cub on the Baie Verte Peninsula Saturday.
The cub leapt up to Brad Perry as soon as he rolled the window down. (Submitted by Brad Perry)

A man from Nipper's Harbour had a closer encounter with a black bear cub than he wanted when he spotted the animal on the highway near La Scie, on Newfoundland's Baie Verte Peninsula.

"This bear was in the middle of the road, and my dad was driving, so I said, 'stop the car so I can get a picture," Brad Perry told CBC Radio's Central Morning Show.

As his dad slowed to a stop, the bear circled over near to Perry, on the passenger side of the truck.

"I put the window down, and before I had a chance to do anything, up jumped the bear. It was kind of startling actually."

It may only have been a cub, but still armed with intimidatingly sharp claws.

"They were quite long," said Perry, still digesting the surprise several days later.

Perry figures his encounter was with an orphaned bear cub that has been fed by people. (Submitted by Brad Perry)

He said at the time, he wasn't afraid.

"Because it happened a little bit too fast … But after we were going up the road, it was kind of like, 'What just happened?'"

Orphaned cub

Perry said there have been rumours in the area of a wandering cub.

"I have heard that the mother was killed and he was left to fend for his own self, and from what I've been hearing, a lot of people have been feeding it," he said.

"I guess he's been acquiring the taste of our food."

For his part, Perry did not offer the bear anything and said he never would.

"I wouldn't condone feeding the bears. That's basically a death sentence for the bear as far as I'm concerned."

Gros Morne Park officials warn visitors to keep a safe distance from wildlife after reports of people taking selfies with a young black bear cub (Submitted by Brad Perry)

While he'll keep an eye out for the cub in the future, Perry said he won't be trying to get that close to it again.

"That was a once in a lifetime experience for me. I think that was close enough," he said.

"It's a wild animal. It might be cute but it could still be dangerous."

With files from The Central Morning Show