A British Columbia woman having a cigarette on her front porch was approached by a wandering bear that licked her on the hand.
Melanie Porter said she was smoking and sitting in a chair on her front porch Thursday night in Quesnel when she spotted movement in her front yard that she initially thought was a neighborhood cat.
“I look up and it’s a bear and I freeze,” Porter told the Prince George Citizen. “I’m thinking, ‘Oh, what do I do? What do I do?’ I’m just going to stay still.”
Porter said the bear walked right up to her, sniffed her and licked her on the right hand. Porter snapped a photo of the bear standing just inches in front of where she was sitting.
“If I die at least they’ll see who the culprit is,” Porter recalled thinking.
The bear eventually backed off and Porter rushed back inside her house. She said a neighbor’s security camera footage revealed the bear had been watching her from the yard for some time before approaching.
“It was so dark and he was so quiet and stealthy I didn’t see him,” Porter said. “I was sitting 10 feet away from a bear the whole time.”
British Columbia is believed to be home to one quarter of the entire population of black bears in Canada. Wildlife officials recommend never approaching a bear, and using loud noises to keep the animals at a distance.