• Bear encounter with teen recorded on surveillance video in Barre

    By: Elysia Rodriguez

    Updated:

    A close encounter with a bear in Barre was all recorded on surveillance video. 

    A teenager came wthin a few feet of a bear cub and it was all caught on her family's video surveillance system. 

    "It was just big and black and I thought it was a dog at first but then I looked up and I was like oh wait a minute that’s not a dog," said Rebecca Saarinen, 16, of Barre.

    The teen nearly came face-to-face with a bear cub Saturday in her driveway.

    In the video, you can see the teenager drop part of her keychain and as she goes to pick it up, the bear cub approaches.

    "I was a little scared so I wanted to back up first and make sure it wasn’t going to come after me and once I was far enough away then I realized I could get away," Rebecca said.

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    Her father, Michael, said he heard the commotion.

    "I just heard my daughter 'Ahhh' she came running around the corner and said ‘A bear, a bear’ and we looked outside and there was the cub running across the street," he said.

    Experts never advise running away from bears. The best thing to do is stand your ground and make yourself as big and intimidating as possible. But in this case, Rebecca likely did the right thing by staying calm then moving, because the mother bear was on the other side of the house.

    "The cub was over here and the mother was over there," Michael Saarinen said.

    "It was good that they were kind of separated only because If the mother had saw my daughter with her cub it would have been a much worse outcome because mothers are very protective of their cubs and it would have been a lot worse than what happened," he added.

    Another thing police emphasize is taking down bird feeders. If you live in an area where bears frequent - bears love to feast on them - and it encourages them to come into neighborhoods.

    Rebecca has since found some humor in watching the video.

    "I think it’s more funny," she said. 

    Her father is hoping to eliminate any more close encounters. 

    “I was a little nervous. I mean we have a lot of bears around here but that was just too close between the cub and my daughter was probably only 6 or 7 feet less than a car length," he said.

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