WATCH: Tennessee Tourist Calls Bear Cute, Immediately Gets Charged

by Sean Griffin
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(Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

Illet Al Junaidi was visiting Pigeon Forge, Tennessee back in 2020 when she had an experience that started off cute and ended with a scare. A bear approached her cabin as she stood on the porch. A large gate blocked her from the bear, but the bear slowly approached until it was only a few feet away.

While Al Junaidi was on vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains with her husband, she posted this video to TikTok of the bear doing her “so dirty.”

“Hi cutie! Why are you so cute?” she says as the video begins. The bear slowly walks up and stands behind the gate at her cabin, seeming to be sizing her up.

“I decided to go say, ‘hi,’ because he seemed nice, but that was not the case,” she said to Fox Weather about the encounter. “As soon as I got comfortable, he charged at me.”

The footage can be seen below.

@illsvvs This bear did me so dirty 😒 #smokeymountains #fyp #funny #bear ♬ original sound – Ills🇾🇪

“Oh, hell no!” a scared Al Junaidi screams as she darts back into her cabin.

She said didn’t go out for the rest of her four-day trip after the incident with the bear. We don’t blame her: even though she was protected by the gate, we’re sure the experience put a real scare into Al Junaidi.

Officials Give Steps on What To Do When Encountering a Wild Bear

Bears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are all wild animals. Therefore, their behavior can be unpredictable, according to the National Parks Service. Although extremely rare, attacks on humans have occurred. These attacks often end in serious injuries or even death. 

“Being too close may promote aggressive behavior from the bear such as running toward you, making loud noises, or swatting the ground,” the park service said. “The bear is demanding more space. Don’t run, but slowly back away, watching the bear. Increase the distance between you and the bear. 

If you follow these steps, the bear will probably do the same, according to officials. Luckily, Al Junaidi nor her husband had to test out these steps because of the gate separating them from the bear.

Pigeon Forge is located in Sevier County, Tennessee. Its main attractions include Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country. The park is located just a few miles north of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The national park received 14.1 million visitors in 2021, making it the most-visited national park in America.

The park contains over 500,000 acres of protected land, making it one of the largest national reserves in the country. Its two main entrances are located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and Cherokee, North Carolina.

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