On June 30, in the middle of a heat wave, Samantha Plunz woke up to an unexpected visitor.
“I woke up to hearing noises at my bedroom window and I sat up real quick because my bed’s right below the window. And it was like about a foot away from a bear’s face. It was trying to climb into my bedroom,” Plunz said.
The young black bear was about two years old and pushing on her window screens. Plunz had her windows open due to the heat wave as she doesn’t have air conditioning at her home in the resort community of Napatak, Sask. She thinks the bear may have come in looking for food.
“It’s pretty skinny and it took my loaf of bread that was on the counter and licked the butter dish clean,” Plunz said.
Plunz screamed and yelled at the bear until it went back out into the window, then quickly closed it. The bear hung out for a while until conservation officers came to fire warning shots and chase it away.
The bear came back at 11 p.m. last night, but Plunz had her windows shut this time. Instead, the bear ripped off the screens on her windows and started to push on the window itself.
“But he was pushing at the window like I thought, sure the window was going to crack and break. He was just pushing on it so hard that the window was bowing in,” Plunz said. “I don’t know what he wants with my house.”
There are more bears in the north compared to normal because hunters from the United States were not permitted in the province this past year due to the pandemic, Plunz said. As well, the officers said the warm temperatures are causing the bears to be more active, she said.
All those factors could have contributed to the grandmother dealing with an inquisitive young black bear.
“They’re not scared, they’re not skittish of anything at this age,” Plunz said. “We were banging on the window and hollering … and it just kind of stood back and looked at us like ‘what the f—,’ like it just kind of looked at us. Not dazed at all. Not scared at all.”
Plunz said she has a wooden box covering her garbage outside that was untouched, but there are bear paw prints everywhere around her home.
“It’s a little nerve-racking,” Plunz said. “I grew up in the north, in the bush, and I’ve never experienced like this very persistent bear coming into my house … not to the point where they’re pushing a window in.”
Plunz said she also heard about the bear going up to someone sipping coffee on their deck, and that the La Ronge area has been dealing with a sow bear and cub. Plunz said she plans to keep her windows shut for now, despite the heat.