November 7, 2021
Melanie Porter’s life has been a bit busier than usual since Thursday night.
On Sunday, the Quesnel, B.C. resident squeezed CTV News Vancouver into what has become a busy schedule of interviews in recent days.
“I didn’t expect it to go so viral,” she said, before launching into another retelling of the surprise encounter she had on her porch that evening.
“I’m just sitting outside, having a cigarette, and it was just super dark out in my front yard,” Porter said.
“I’m on my cell phone. My cell phone’s really bright. And just kind of, in the corner of my eye, I see something dark with some eyes. I figured it was just one of the local cats in the neighbourhood. And when it came into my peripheral vision, (it was) something bigger. I looked over, and it was a bear.”
The bear was already quite close. Too close for Porter to carefully move away. She opted to remain still and try to stay calm.
The animal took a look around, gave Porter a sniff, and licked her hand.
“I was just so shocked,” she said. “I was shocked that it was a bear, to begin with, and that it came up to me and I was just in shock, dumbfounded.”
“And then he went in for a second lick, but his mouth was a little more open, and I was like, ‘Oh no. Nope. Not happening.'”
She pulled her hand closer to her body, and that seemed to startle the bear. It backed up and stood up on its hind legs.
At that point, she snapped a photo, which she later realized was actually a very short video.
“My phone was already on and out and it was like, ‘Nobody’s going to believe that this happened,'” Porter said. “It was just, ‘OK, I’m going to take a picture, and if he comes back and I die, we at least know who the culprit is.'”
Of course, Porter didn’t die. She shared the video online, and soon was receiving interview requests from local newspapers and TV stations.
The message she’d like to share with her unexpected notoriety? Be bear aware.
“I should have actually probably paid attention to my surroundings,” she said. “It could have turned out a lot worse. Just because this little bear was friendly, doesn’t mean that they’re all friendly. Just be mindful of your surroundings.”