Scottish couple come face-to-face with bear on holiday in California

Man did not notice bear until he felt 'something brush against his leg'

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The Independent US

A Scottish couple on holiday in California escaped unscathed after they came face-to-face with a bear outside their suburban holiday home.

CCTV footage captured Bob and Irene McKeown calmly locking the door of the house in Pasadena, unaware of the large animal watching them from just feet away.

Mr McKeown told a local television station he was oblivious to the bear until he and his wife were almost at the car.

He only realised the animal had been creeping up on them when he felt “something brush against his leg”.

 “Once I closed the door, I turned round and I shouted: ‘It's a bear, it's a bear. No,’” he added.

The video then shows him fumbling with his keys, desperately trying to get back into the house.

"I ran up the stairs, trying to get in the door and the key wouldn't turn," he said.

Fortunately, the only injury he suffered was a small cut needing a plaster.

Emergency services and wildlife officials armed with guns had been tracking a bear around the neighbourhood for days before the encounter at 4pm on Thursday.

Authorities have not confirmed it is the same bear but residents said a similar-looking animal arrived on Tuesday, when rubbish collections are due.

Film footage had showed it rolling around and frolicking in gardens, even gnawing on a fence.

Officials are monitoring it until it returns to its natural habitat in woodlands and have warned members of the public to keep a safe distance.

Only 12 bear attacks have been officially recorded in California since 1980. They can be dangerous if provoked and are treated with caution.