LAKE SHAWNIGAN, Canada – A black bear caught lingering outside a classroom in Canada has been spooked by a music teacher wielding a trombone.
The animal was spotted on May 27 outside St. John’s Academy Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island in Canada. Video recorded by Makayla Mitchell at the private school shows the bear lingering on a wooden structure containing a trash can.
At first, a science teacher tried to knock on a door to scare the bear away, Mitchell told Storyful. Although the loud noises startled the bear at first, they did not entice the animal to leave.
Eventually, the school’s music teacher, Tristan Clausen, can be heard in the video blowing on his trombone, which led to the black bear quickly running away.
“Rural education: I just hunted a bear with a paper clip,” Clausen told Facebook That day.
“It may just mean your trombone playing is a bit scary,” one commenter joked.
A screen grab from a video shows the black bear outside St. John’s Academy in Shawnigan Lake, B.C., on May 27, 2022. (Makayla Mitchell via Storyful)
It’s estimated that there are over 120,000 black bears in the Canadian province of British Columbia and over 7,000 on Vancouver Island alone.
Black bears are rarely aggressive towards people and usually do their best to avoid contact. But they are particularly drawn to foods that are plentiful and ‘high in protein and energy’ – often bringing them into contact with humans, according to British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks.
Bears have an incredible sense of smell and are often attracted to garbage, human food, pet food, and bird feeders. Wildlife experts recommend storing all of these items in secure areas away from bears, and keeping grills and smokers clean when not in use.
Last year, a man vacationing in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, found a black bear invader who broke into his car and caused significant damage. The group yelled loudly at the bear, eventually prompting it to return to the woods. But then he returned to the group’s cabin with another bear.
“She tried to get into my car,” Joseph Deel said of the incident last summer. “I went back outside and yelled at the bear and threw things at it. Both bears then left the car and moved to the backyard of the cabin where we were. [in].”
For people who encounter a black bear, it is advisable to “make your presence known” by shouting and yelling in an attempt to scare the animal away, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
“If a bear is reluctant to leave, throw rocks or other objects at the bear while continuing to scream. Describe yourself as the dominant animal and do not back away. If a bear is close enough that you feel uncomfortable, slowly back away, continuing to scream while watching the bear at all times. Never run away from a black bear as this may trigger a natural hunting response,” the Tennessee agency states.
This story was reported from Cincinnati.