Footage taken during a hiking trip in Italy shows a 12-year-old with nerves of steel
An Italian boy showed amazing composure while being followed closely behind by a large brown bear, and the heart-stopping encounter was caught on camera.
According to CNN, 12-year-old Alessandro was on a mountain hike with his family in Trentino, Italy, when the bear began following him.
Loris Calliari, the boy's stepfather, filmed the encounter, and can be heard instructing the child to continue moving toward him as the boy and bear both moved through the bushes and down the pathway.
Calliari told CNN that Alessandro was picking up pine cones in the bushes where they believe the Marsican brown bear was likely sleeping.
He says Allesandro loves bears and asked his stepfather to take a picture of him with the bear behind him.
"I noticed that he was moving and I told him (Alessandro) to walk slowly, to be careful, that I will take a picture but to move," Calliari said.
"I was nervous at first but then saw that the bear was not scared, was not acting, so I calmed down," he added.
But Calliari said the boy's mother and grandmother weren't so calm and were both screaming. Despite their panicked response, Alessandro remained remarkably composed during the encounter. You can even see him smiling as the bear follows closely behind him. As he moves closer to his father, you can hear him exclaim, "This is so cool."
Calliari said they had watched a YouTube video approximately a month earlier on what to do should they encounter a bear. "So, he was prepared."
When the bear eventually loses interest and ambles way, you can hear Alessandro ask his stepfather: "Did you take the picture?"
Calliari shared the amazing footage on Facebook.
According to Bearconservation.org, the Marsican brown bear can only be found in the Appenine Mountains of Italy, mainly in the Abruzzo-Lazio-Molise National Park and surrounding area. In fact, the park was created in 1923 specifically to protect these bears. The bear is critically endangered, with only 40 to 60 individuals remaining.
Stephanie Mallory is a mom, a hunter and Realtree’s PR Coordinator. She’s here to deliver an insider’s look at the outdoor business and give her opinion on all things outdoors—whether you asked for it or not.