When Matt Bete dozed off by the pool at his Greenfield, Mass. home over the weekend nothing was unusual — until a bear decided to wander into his backyard.
The animal lumbered around Bete’s backyard and took a few sips from the swimming pool. Then, it noticed Bete, cautiously approached, and tapped him on the foot. When Bete awoke with a start to his unusual wakeup call, the bear jolted and ran away.
“Matt texted me a picture of the bear running through the front yard and said the bear nudged his foot while he was sleeping by the pool,” his wife, Dawn Bete, wrote on Facebook. “Of course I thought he was kidding!”
But then Dawn checked their Ring home surveillance video footage and confirmed Matt’s startling tale.
“He wasn’t sure how he should react but knew he couldn’t get up that fast but at least he had another chair and table between them if needed,” Dawn wrote. “Luckily it went running out soon after the encounter.”
While bears are more commonly out in public in the early months of summer, they can also be spotted on the prowl for food this time of year, before settling down for the winter.
“Bears are trying to take advantage of high-calorie meals this time of year,” Dave Wattles, a Massachusetts black bear biologist, told the Boston Herald. "It’s not uncommon to spot one sniffing around backyards and pools, on the lookout for food, particularly in western and central Massachusetts.
“They’re inherently not aggressive towards people,” Wattles added. “We’ve never had anyone seriously hurt by a bear."
This is an interesting year for unusual bear sightings caught on camera. In Spain, a film crew captured footage of a rare brown bear, spotted for the first time in more than 150 years. And a family on vacation found a rare all-white grizzly bear in Canada’s Banff National Park.
Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. When in a new city, she's usually out to discover under-the-radar art, culture, and secondhand stores. No matter her location, you can find her on Twitter, on Instagram or at caileyrizzo.com.
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