Daytona Beach, FL

Florida Man Fights Off a Black Bear That Had Wandered Onto His Back Porch – He Was Defending His Dogs

Toby Hazlewood

He acted on instinct to protect his family and pets

On January 21 Walter Hickox of Daytona Beach was captured on camera fighting off a black bear that wandered onto his back porch, presumably drawn by the smell of food or perhaps with the intention of attacking one of his small dogs.

Mr Hickox reacted instinctively to defend his pets, and wrestled and pushed the bear out the door before barricading the entrance with furniture. Video of the attack, captured on his home-surveillance camera has been shared by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) on their Facebook page, praising Walter for being 'BearWise':

Speaking to WFTV9, Mr Hickox had this to say:

“Not a lot went through my head at the moment, other than what’s going to happen if he gets past me and into the house where the rest of my dogs and my wife was at”

He put the safety of his family and his pets first and reacted in line with guidance from the FWC, to react with loud noises and to drive the bear away as quickly as he could.

Multiple bear attacks in one week

Just three days earlier, a woman from DeBary, Florida encountered a female black bear while walking her dogs outside her home. The bear attacked her, leaving her with injuries to her back and face. The dog ran from the scene and was unharmed.

The mother bear was eventually euthanized by the FWC who adjudged that it would remain a risk to humans in the area. It's three cubs were deemed old and big enough to fend for themselves.

Amazon delivery driver vs black bear

Further afield, in Upland, California on January 21, an Amazon delivery driver was again caught on a home surveillance camera as he came face-to-face with a black bear that was lurking inside the gate of the home where he was trying to deliver a package.

The driver reacted just as you're supposed to in such a situation, raising his arms to make himself bigger and facing off with the bear to drive it away. Fortunately, the animal obliged!

Guidelines from the FWC regarding what to do if you encounter bears in Florida are simple but effective, and summarised in this infographic:
FWC Infographic - Bears In FloridaFWC Website

Would you have confronted the bear like Walter Hickox did, if you felt it were a threat to your family and pets? Have you ever been confronted by a bear in the wild? Let me know in the comments section below.

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