Bears are nothing if not ambitious. We've seen these wily omnivores breaking into cars, scaling power poles with death-defying aplomb, and readily taking on adult feral hogs. The latest evidence that bears are always up for a challenge comes from Canada, where one was recently caught on camera trying to make off with a hefty Halloween decoration. 

The attempted pumpkin heist was captured on a surveillance camera set up on a porch in Sudbury, Ontario. After snacking on several of the pumpkins that local resident Ashley Larose had placed around her property as decorations for autumn, the bear set its sights on the biggest of the bunch. "We found [the pumpkin] a few metres away still intact – it must have just been too much work on a full tummy," Larose told Storyful, adding that the bear appeared to be young and was likely taught by its mother to visit the neighbourhood which is often a fruitful source of snacks for opportunistic omnivores.

As bears prepare for their lengthy winter slumber, they can hardly afford to be fussy eaters and will scoff down just about anything they can stomach (giant pumpkins included). When winter sets in, bears must survive for several months purely on fat reserves they have stored up during a pre-hibernation phase of excessive eating and drinking called hyperphagia. It's this lust for nutrients that often brings the animals into conflict with humans as they seek out any readily available food sources. 

Further south in Evergreen, Colorado, a doorbell cam captured an early morning visit from a prowling bruin, while a homeowner living near the woods of Northern Alberta had the unique challenge of trying to usher a bear out of his house when it clambered in through an open window. 

Evicting the intruder required setting up a barricade inside the house and "guiding" the bear back to the window where it first entered. "Fun times living in the woods of Northern Alberta!" Sean Reddy, the homeowner and 'chief bear remover', quipped on Facebook. In this instance, the bear may have entered the house after it was spooked by Reddy's dogs – something that has led to unwanted attention from bears in the past.

While bears are unlikely to launch into unprovoked attacks,  their ramped up foraging behaviour during this time of year can lead to an increase in encounters. Those in bear country are warned to stay vigilant, keep your dogs on leads, and make sure your garbage is tightly secured and inaccessible. Also, get some back-up, inedible Halloween decorations.


Top header image: Dan Hutcheson, Flickr