A 12-year-old Italian boy is being praised for his ability to stay calm when he encountered a wild bear.
Alessandro Franzoi was having a picnic on the mountainside recently near Sporminore in northern Italy with his family, The Telegraph reported.
The boy had wandered off to look for semi-precious stones when a brown bear appeared.
Most people would give a shriek of surprise and run with arms flailing down the mountain.
But Franzoi did what Bear Smart advises people to do in that situation: Remain calm.
The young boy actually knew what to do in the situation because he had studied bears and dreams of living among animals, Italian news outlet La Stampa reported.
“We obviously got alarmed, while he was very calm,” his uncle Federico said of the bear encounter.
“Animals and woods are his passion,” he said. “He reads many books, studies and dreams of making adventures and discoveries.”
Franzoi calmly moved away from the giant creature, taking a glance back every few steps to see where the bear was.
He safely made it down the hill and back to his family, and the bear continued on with its business.
CRAZY VIDEO: 12-year-old keeps calm during close encounter with a bear in the Italian Mountains! ? But as a nail-biting video shows, the boy showed remarkable poise as he slowly retreated. Would you be able to remain calm? https://t.co/VCzZDv5wJE pic.twitter.com/SU2lwfzW1i
— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) May 27, 2020
“Do you know what the secret was? I did not look him in the eye and so the bear understood that I was not his enemy. And now I’m the happiest child in the world,” Franzoi said.
“I really hoped it would happen. And when I saw the bear … in the bushes, I was very excited. I was really happy.”
Although the boy thought the encounter was neat, it is really important for people exploring the wild to be bear-aware and know what to do when you encounter one.
“It’s the escalation of feat that leads to bad decisions,” Benjamin Kilham and Ed Gray wrote in “Among the Bears.”
“There have been a number of bear attacks that I’ve read about that could have been avoided if the situation hadn’t been misread.”
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