HALIFAX -- Gennadiy Shcherbin says he will look over his shoulder a little more carefully after seeing a "huge" bear casually wander through the parking lot at his Halifax-area gas station.

The owner of the Wilson's Gas Stop knew something wasn't right when he arrived at the station at about 6 a.m. Wednesday to find a heavy wooden garbage bin tipped over. When he got closer, he noticed several scratch marks on the container, which he said weighs about 45 kilograms.

Shcherbin, who bought the station after moving to Canada from Russia, said Friday that he turned on his surveillance footage and saw a black bear he estimated to weigh roughly 160 kilograms ambling past the front of his store.

"It's a big fella," he said with a chuckle from the gas station. "I show the guys the video and all of them say it's like about 350 to 400 pounds. It's a big one."

Shcherbin said he checked several cameras that captured different angles of the bear as it roamed around the station early that morning. He showed the footage to the man who had owned the station for about 30 years, adding that he had never seen a bear on the property before.

He says neighbours are a little worried since the bear has been spotted in the area around Beaver Bank Road over the last two weeks.

For his part, Shcherbin said the sighting has left him a little shaken but that he has read books on the animals and understands they aren't necessarily dangerous to humans.

"They are all in food chain so to this guy we look like big sausages," he said, laughing. "I'm not so brave that I don't scare...Now I am turning to those cameras (to see) what's outside before I go out."

Butch Galvez, a wildlife technician with the provincial Natural Resources Department, said it's not unusual for bears to roam into populated areas at this time of year, when there isn't much natural food available.

In fact, Galvez says he believes this particular bear has made appearances in the Beaver Bank area every year for the past several years.

But black bears aren't typically dangerous to humans, he said. Galvez said there has never been a bear attack in Nova Scotia.

He said it's important for people in the area to eliminate things that may attract the bear, such as bird feeders and full compost and garbage bins.

"The bear's only looking for easy handouts. If we don't make those available, that bear is going to move on," he said.