As encounters continue to rise in 2020, watch as this Massachusetts man finds himself waking up poolside to the claws of a black bear.
The footage comes from Matt & Dawn Bete’s property in Massachusetts, courtesy of their Ring camera. Ring cameras are motion-detecting, and the Bete’s switches on as the black bear takes a leisurely stroll through their back yard. Matt Bete can be seen sleeping in a lounge chair before the bear takes a sip from his pool. The bear then reaches for Matt, pulling at his foot with a full set of claws. Black bears are notoriously curious, and this particular medium-sized ursine undoubtedly fits the bill.
Thankfully, Matte Bede immediately wakes up due to the encounter. His knee-jerk movement is enough to startle the bear away.
While this footage may seem comical to some, black bear encounters are a serious matter. As more people find themselves alternatively exploring the outdoors during the pandemic, bear encounters have more than doubled. The majority of these encounters have resulted in human injuries and casualties, too. Just yesterday in the Great Smoky Mountains, the body of an Illinois vacationer, 43-year-old Patrick Madura, was discovered as a black bear consumed his remains.
Bears Require a Great Deal of Respect – and Room
Great Smoky Mountains National Park hosts more traffic per year than any other park. In turn, the park is estimated to contain 1,500 black bears. As a result, bear encounters in the Smokys are high. The National Park Service requires that park visitors keep a 150 feet distance from bears. If caught in violation of this rule, citizens can receive hefty fines and even jail-time. If visiting the Smokys to view black bears, or Yellowstone for grizzlies, remaining in your vehicle at all times is safest. Binoculars and telephoto cameras make for the best – and sometimes life-saving – viewing experience.
[ H/T TMZ]