Do not try this at home. A man in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania got perilously close to a giant black bear that wandered into his yard recently—and a bystander caught the whole ordeal on camera.
The video was posted on the private Instagram account @johnson2124 and later shared publicly by Barstool Philly. The footage begins with the bruin lumbering around in a lakeside yard where folks are enjoying a barbecue. Then a brazen party-goer in a cut-off T-shirt and a pair of jean shorts struts up to the big bear, clearly attempting to shoo it away from the party.
“C’mon Mike,” says someone in the background, and Mike responds by saying, “It’s all right. I got it.”
The man’s full identity has not been disclosed to the public beyond his first name. Mike continues walking behind the bear, slowly guiding it away from his fellow partiers. Then he opens the door of the yard’s gate and tries to usher the bear out. Eventually the bear goes—but not before taking a legitimate swipe at Mike’s midsection for good measure.
The video ends with a smiling Mike lifting up his shirt to show off the claw marks he sustained during encounter, which are admittedly pretty minor. That said, it’s important to note that Mike got away with a completely irresponsible display of bravado.
Earlier this summer, a 60-year-old Pennsylvania man was mauled by a black bear inside his garage while turning off a hose in the middle of the night. According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC), male black bears in the Keystone State commonly reach weights of 400 pounds and larger. The agency encourages residents and visitors in Pennsylvania’s bear country to keep all food sources secure in order to prevent encounters like Mike’s with habituated black bears.
“If you come across a bear on your property, there are two possible courses of action. The first is to make loud noises or shout at the bear from a distance,” the PGC explains. “The second option is to leave the bear alone and clean up the bear’s mess after it leaves.”