ANIMALS

Getting up close and personal with a black bear

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At a private fishing pond near Roanoke, Va., Billy Gray and his son walked into a wildlife lover’s dream.

They came face to face with a black bear, who looked them right in eye and came close enough to swat at Billy's shoe.

It left a paw print and a little uneasiness about what could have been.

“That is not normal behavior and not a smart thing to do either,” said Jim Bowman, Wildlife Expert with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Bowman considers the pair lucky to be alive. He says the bear's behavior probably means humans have been feeding him.

Wildlife experts say if you encounter a bear, back up slowly and don't make any loud noises, and never under any circumstances run quickly away.

Gray believes their fish likely attracted the bear.

“I quit after he showed up had more fun watching him, he was beautiful,” Gray said.

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