Poise under pressure is a valuable asset in the outdoors. A 12-year-old boy named Alessandro Breda demonstrated why on a recent hike in the Dolomites of northern Italy.
In a video posted on Twitter, Breda had a run-in with a curious brown bear while hiking with family members in Adamello-Brenta Nature Park near Trentino. Fortunately, he had recently watched a film on best practices for bear encounters and was able to put his skills to the ultimate test.
The video shows Breda inching his way down the hill as a hiking partner films the encounter, both communicating with one another but keeping voices low and tones calm. Breda’s hiking partner (his mother’s boyfriend), Loris Calliari, can be heard in the video urging him to slowly move away from the bear, saying, “Don’t turn your back to him.” Breda follows the advice, keeping calm and tip-toeing away slowly without causing a ruckus. At one point, the bear stands up on its hind legs but it’s only an attempt to better analyze the situation — brown bears have notoriously bad eyesight, and the added height helps them gain a clearer perspective on their surroundings by capturing more odors.
A voi il mio incontro con @‘orso di sta mattina sopra la malga Sporminore… pic.twitter.com/VN6QmAV9oV
— Loris Calliari (@loriscalliari) May 24, 2020
As nerve-racking as the video is, Breda kept his cool, adopted the appropriate behavior, and the bear was never aggressive.
According to The New York Times, Breda is not bothered at all by the encounter and is eager to go hiking again soon.