Polar bear attempted to break down front door of house in Newfoundland with people inside

A frightening incident just after midnight on Sunday left a woman and her daughter on the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland shaken when a polar bear tried to break down their front door. Luckily for them, the bear was not starving and therefore not persistent: it soon stopped without doing much damage and neighbours were able to drive it away from the house. Again, the premise of my polar bear attack thriller, EATEN, is that the bear could have gotten into the house if it had really been motivated by hunger to do so. And what if that had happened and there were no neighbours to call for help?

There is still abundant ice around the northern Peninsula (see below), and gov’t officials are warning residents to be wary of other bears reported in the region. A CBC story on the incident quotes local wildlife officials as saying they “generally receive between 30 and 60 calls about polar bears annually. There have been 10 this year so far.” However, as I’ve pointed out previously, it appears this has only been true since 2012 or so: lots of bears visiting Newfoundland and Labrador in the spring is a relatively new phenomenon.

From a local news report (VOCM, 4 April 2022):

A woman and her teenage daughter in Conche had an unwanted visitor show up on their front step early Sunday morning [3 April].

Paula Talbot says that around 1 a.m. she was just getting settled in bed when she heard rumblings at her door. When the noise continued, she got up to investigate. What she saw next was a sight she won’t soon forget.

She crept out of her bedroom and had a line of sight to her front door, where a polar bear was on its hind legs, batting at the door knob and window.

Talbot ran to her closet and called a friend for help. Within five minutes, two men arrived but the bear had begun to go down a side street. She says the men followed the bear for about a kilometre, before it noticed them.

She says the bear made a dash towards the men, who were in a truck, but eventually stopped, and continued walking down the road out of Conche.

She says the men ultimately lost track of the bear, but they could see paths it had created into other yards in the neighborhood.

Talbot says that despite the ordeal, the only damage her property sustained was to the door knob itself.

Paula’s Facebook account of it here.

Conche is a small community on the eastern side of the Northern Peninsula (see below):

Sea ice chart shows abundant ice around the Northern Peninsula at this time:

Sea ice in general on the east coast:

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