Heartbreaking photo of bear living in landfill site

  • Artist’s enhanced photograph taken in northern Ontario, Canada shows bear slumped in a landfill site 
  • Troy Moth said he cried as he took the photo in the landfill which included a smokey pit that was on fire 
  • Sharing the image on social media, he wrote: ‘I was speechless, in complete shock of what I was seeing’ 

Charlie Moore For Mailonline

An artist’s enhanced photograph of a bear slumped in a landfill site is being described as the ‘the most heart-breaking image ever’.

Troy Moth said he cried as he took the photo in northern Ontario, Canada.

Sharing the image on social media, he wrote: ‘This is the only photograph I’ve ever made that has made me tear up on multiple occasions. And I’m sure it still has more to teach me.’  

Moving: An artist's enhanced photograph of a bear slumped in a landfill site is being described as the 'the most heart-breaking image ever'

Moving: An artist's enhanced photograph of a bear slumped in a landfill site is being described as the 'the most heart-breaking image ever'

Moving: An artist’s enhanced photograph of a bear slumped in a landfill site is being described as the ‘the most heart-breaking image ever’

He added: ‘I was in the region on an assignment unrelated to bears, but a friend in the area said we could check out the landfill as there may be bears there, so we went for a drive. 

‘When we arrived at the landfill there were bears everywhere, I believe seven in total. I was speechless, in complete shock of what I was seeing and I actually didn’t shoot any photographs.

‘That night I couldn’t shake the feeling about the bears in the landfill, and so the next day I asked my friend if we could go back. When we arrived the smokey pit was on fire with flames coming up taller than the bear. I immediately knew that, this time, I had to shoot.

‘When I finished making the photograph, the bear turned slowly and walked down into the smoking pit, disappearing from my sight. He never came back up during the rest of my time there.

‘It took me a very long time to process this photograph after, and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. All I know is that it’s the only photograph I’ve ever made that has made me tear up on multiple occasions. And I’m sure still has more to teach me.

‘I used a Nikon D810 and 35mm F1.8 lens. Exposure was F11 and 1/400 second, as I wanted as much detail as possible and didn’t expect the bear to be so still, so I chose a high shutter speed to ensure clarity in case the bear moved around. I got pretty lucky with the smoke and position of the sun—just one of those moments I believe come to us photographers, when everything aligns just right.’ 

The image has attracted thousands of comments and shares on social media.

Many viewers noted the damage that landfill sites are having on nature as they over-spill into animals’ habitats. 

Steve Franke wrote: ‘My heart breaks seeing this. You can actually feel what this animal is going through. His desperation and his despair. I will never forget this shot Troy.’