APOPKA, Fla. — Editor's note: The picture above is a file image.
A family from Apopka sure got a surprise Tuesday night when a potty break for their dog outside turned into a scary chase with a bear.
Jason and Rachel Smith were walking their dog in their neighborhood, near Wekiwa State Park, around 9:30 p.m. when suddenly a bear appeared, Click Orlando reports.
“The dog was doing his business. This bear came out from behind my neighbor’s car and immediately charged after us,” Jason Smith said to the media outlet.
Rachel called it a "scary experience" in a Facebook post with the bear charging at the family and changing them to their front door.
A Ring camera video of the incident showed the couple running into their house yelling at their small gray dog to hurry up. The pup stopped for a second to face the larger animal but eventually runs inside after hearing its name, the Miami Herald explains.
"We made it safely into the house and closed and banged on the front door," Rachel says on ViralHog's YouTube page where the video of the Ring camera is uploaded.
The bear eventually stopped by the front door for a couple of seconds before walking away.
“(The bear) did come back to our door a couple hours later,” Rachel said to Click Orlando. “He came up to the door again. We have a fountain in our front yard. I think maybe he was just thirsty and trying to get a drink.”
Watch the full encounter down below:
So what should you do if you come face to face with a Florida black bear?
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, people should remain standing upright, back up slowly and speak to the bear in a calm, assertive voice.
You shouldn't feed or intentionally attract bears and never approach or surprise a bear.
"If you see a bear from a distance, enjoy the experience, but do not move toward the bear. If you are close, do not make any sudden or abrupt movements," FWC leaders explain. "Back away slowly and be sure the bear has an obvious escape route."
FWC says if you're in your yard:
- Make sure that you are in a safe area and that the bear has a clear escape route. Then, make noise or bang pots and pans to scare the bear away.
- Do NOT turn your back, play dead, climb a tree or run. Back away slowly into the house or secure area.
- Avoid direct eye contact. Bears and many other animals may view this as aggressive behavior.
- Report any bear that is threatening the safety of humans, pets or livestock, or causing property damage to the FWC.
Read up on more information about black bears by clicking here.