A 12-year-old boy had an extremely close encounter with a large bear while hiking with his family in Italy recently, in a moment that was captured on camera.
The young boy, Alessandro, was walking with his family in Malga Nuova, in the Trentino region, when the bear started stalking him yesterday afternoon, May 24.
Alessandro – who can be seen standing just metres away from the animal in a now-viral video – has since been praised for his actions, which ultimately resulted in the bear wandering away without harming him.
Tense footage of the moment the bear starts following young Alessandro shows the boy walking slowly down a steep hill as the animal follows closely behind.
‘Come Ale,’ his father encourages him as he films the terrifying moment, as per La Voce del Trentino. Following his dad’s instructions, Alessandro walks nervously towards his family, making as little movement as possible.
During one incredibly tense moment, the bear can be seen standing on its hind legs, at which point Alessandro panics slightly and calls out for his mum. His dad quickly intervenes though, encouraging him to remain calm.
Eventually, the bear appears to lose interest in the family and stops following them, moving peacefully in another direction as the boy catches up with his father.
So why did this incident turn out to be much less dangerous than we might have originally thought? Firstly, most bears do not – under normal circumstances – attack humans. The US National Parks Service cites that the chances of being injured by a bear in Yellowstone National Park are approximately one in 2.7 million.
This could be witnessed in the way the bear acted towards the family; the animal did not appear aggressive at any point during the video and it didn’t give the impression that it wanted to attack the young boy.
Secondly, the family – particularly young Alessandro – reacted in the correct way, doing exactly what they should have done in such a situation.
For example, when faced with the prospect of the bear following them, they did not panic and attempt to run away. Instead, they moved calmly and spoke in gentle tones to each other.
This is always the best course of action if faced with a bear, as the animals are unpredictable in temperament and will attack if they are surprised or feel threatened.
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).
World news – GB – Italian Boy, 12, Does Exactly What You Should Do When Being Stalked By Bear