With children’s characters like Winnie the Pooh or Care Bears depicting bears as docile and cute, the reality is that coming face-to-face with one may very well signify the end of your life. Recently, a North Carolina man self-described as “chillaxing” on his patio was disturbed by an unexpected visitor: a black bear, eyeing him down.
Footage That Could Have Turned Grisly
After an arduous day at work, digital creator David Oppenheimer was hoping to unwind on his patio. Of all the things that could have interrupted his moment of tranquility, an encounter with a black bear was certainly the last on his mind.
But not only did the unthinkable happen, it was even captured via security footage. The now-viral video depicts Oppenheimer lying on a reclining lawn chair and texting. When he finally does notice the beastly intruder, the fear in his eyes is undeniable.
Not Oppenheimer’s First Encounter With the Pesky Creature
Not only had Oppenheimer encountered this bear before, the creature seems to have a vendetta against him. In the past, it has rummaged through his trash and even stolen food from his supposedly “bear-proof” bird feeder.
Still, no prior knowledge of the bear could stop this recent experience on his patio from being shocking, at best.
“The bears here are very peaceful. This one just caught me off guard,” Oppenheimer said.
Oppenheimer Was Left Unharmed
If you come across a bear, never push a slower friend down…even if you feel the friendship has run its course.— National Park Service (@NatlParkService) February 28, 2023
Thankfully, Oppenheimer utilized his knowledge of bear safety and came away from the experience unscathed.
According to the National Park Service, people who encounter bears should “stay calm” and hold their ground. They say to avoid running, as bears tend to pursue “fleeing animals.” Oppenheimer’s survival is proof that these methods work.
Bear Intrusions: More Common Than We Think?
VIDEO: Bear steals Chick-fil-A off front porch https://t.co/FiSlRsW8BX— New York Post (@nypost) December 16, 2022
Despite Oppenheimer’s video going viral, the situation it depicts is not as uncommon as one would think. For example, a black bear was recently caught on surveillance camera footage stealing Chick-Fil-A from the porch of a Florida resident.
Also, Connecticut’s Department of Energy & Environmental Protection reported a record number of bear home invasions in 2022.
According to the cited article: “A bear in West Hartford broke into a home twice last summer. There were also numerous reports of a bear in the Canton area breaking into homes and allegedly teaching its cubs how to do the same.”
If one lives in an area heavily populated by bears, there is certainly cause for concern. However, following the National Park Service’s standards for bear safety will greatly reduce one’s risk of being harmed by bears, who tend to only attack when they feel that they or their kin is threatened.