This video is pure chaos. On Sunday, December 10, a group of skiers were going down a popular run at Heavenly Ski Resort near Lake Tahoe, California when they encountered a bear sprinting through the snow. Skier Tao Feng caught the unexpected incident on video and posted it to TikTok.
“[I] almost hit a bear skiing down Ridge Run [at] Heavenly,” wrote Feng in the video description. “[I] didn’t realize it was a bear until it was too close.”
The footage shows skiers nonchalantly turning back and forth across a groomed trail when a bruin is seen loping across the slope on the left-hand side. Feng continues skiing and comes within feet of the bear before it dips off the side of the run and into the woods.
“I was honestly afraid it would attack me if I stopped too close,” Feng told the Sacramento Bee. “All I could think of was to get away fast. I bet the bear thought so too, and we both underestimate[d] the other’s speed.”
While black bears are hibernating in many parts of the country—they are not in the Lake Tahoe area. “In Lake Tahoe, unfortunately, there’s a lot of human-provided food, and so the bears don’t need to hibernate,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) information officer Peter Tira told ABC10. “The Tahoe Basin is home to one of the largest, densest concentrations of black bears in all of North America. They are active day and night and year round.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the incident occurred not far from where an infamously fat black bear known as “Hank the Tank” was captured before being relocated. CDFW officials often stress the importance of being “bear aware” and securing any possible food sources in the Lake Tahoe region.