APOPKA, Fla. – Jason and Rachel Smith of Apopka were greeted by an unwelcome visitor last week – a Florida black bear. When taking their dachshund out for a bathroom break on Tuesday, the Smiths were quickly greeted by Florida’s largest common mammal, and the third largest bear type in North America.
The couple saw the bear approach from behind a neighbor’s car while they and the dog were outside at around 9:30 pm. It then began to make its way toward them.
Jason was first to act, waving his arms and yelling in an attempt to scare the bear off. According to wildlife experts, this is the correct approach if the bear has decided to move toward you. Running, as Rachel, their dog, and eventually Jason did, is not advised as it activates the bears’ predatory instinct.
The Ring doorbell footage above shows the family making it back inside in the nick of time. Their dachshund stops for a moment to confront the bear, before heeding his family’s beckoning to come inside with them. The bear arrives at the porch, then quickly leaves. The Smiths said it came back later on, perhaps in search of water from their fountain.
“The dog was doing his business. This bear came out from behind my neighbor’s car and immediately charged after us,” said Jason of the incident. They believe their dog was trying to protect them when he paused at the door.
“We were just hollering at him to get him inside,” Rachel said. “We didn’t want him to stop, but I think he had to defend us against the bear because little dogs have a big dog attitude sometimes.”