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Bear attacks Scottish tourists in California

Bob and Irene McKeown and, far right, the bear. Picture: Contributed

Bob and Irene McKeown and, far right, the bear. Picture: Contributed

TWO Scottish tourists were attacked by a bear whilst on holiday in the US - after they walked straight past oblivious to its presence.

Bob and Irene McKeown did not see the black bear as they exited their daughter’s house even though it was just 10ft away from them.

It followed them to their car where it clawed Mr McKeown who had just put his wife in the vehicle.

In a panic he ran back to the front door and struggled with the key before finally getting it open as the bear fled.

The story has led the news bulletins in the US yet in a bizarre twist American viewers were given subtitles in case they did not understand the McKeown’s Scottish accents.

Mrs McKeown also admitted that relatives had been mocking her and said: ‘We’re getting teased, they’ve said how did you not see it?’

The couple had been visiting their daughter and son in law in Pasadena, California when they encountered the bear, which is thought to have been looking for food in the rubbish.

Footage from their daughter’s CCTV camera on the house showed them calmly walking out of the front door, oblivious to the bear clearly visible in the background.

It can then be seen following them into the driveway - and moments later Mr McKeown runs back to open the front door.

He told a US TV station: ‘I put my wife in the car and as I did I felt something on my leg.

‘I thought it couldn’t be the dog because I left it in the house.

‘I closed the door and I turned round and I shouted: ‘It’s a bear, it’s a bear!

‘You don’t know how scared you are, you just see a bear. I’ve never encountered a bear. I wasn’t expecting to’.

Mrs McKeown said: ‘I was expecting it (the bear) to go round and into the car but it just ran away’.

Mr McKeown ended up going to the hospital as he had a scratch on his leg leg but was expected to be fine after receiving a tetanus shot.

The McKeowns has a lucky escape given that the bear was a cub as fully grown adult black bears can grow to 300lbs - and have been known to kill humans if threatened.

The bear that approached the McKeowns is thought to have been menacing the area for a few weeks and usually appears on garbage day, residents said.

It escaped into the woods and was watched by police armed with shotguns in case it came back.

J.C. Healy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said: ‘He might be just knocking, looking around for some garbage cans, looking for something to eat and then once he couldn’t find something, or he found something, he’ll work his way back to an area where he feels safe, which is suitable habitat’.

 

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