A Central Coast resident had a unique visitor last night. Surveillance video captured the moments a bear was exploring a backyard in Pismo Beach.
“I didn’t know there's like bears in Pismo,” said Anthony Molina, who was visiting the area.
In the video, the home's patio lights turn on to reveal a bear just minding its own business.
The creature slowly and quietly walks through the backyard.
“I hadn’t seen one in years, but I've been in the area long enough that it's not so shocking to see wildlife,” said Cathy Lewis, who was walking her dog in Pismo Beach.
“I feel like there wouldn't usually be like a bear in this neighborhood, so that's, like, genuinely surprising,” said Pismo Beach resident Charlie Seaton.
The incident caught on camera happened Thursday night at 10:24 p.m. near Highland Drive in Pismo Beach. Arlene Holcomb shared the clip and told KSBY she had never seen a bear in the 23 years she has lived there.
“There is bear habitat near Pismo Beach, so while it's somewhat out of the ordinary, it's not extraordinarily surprising,” said Ken Paglia, a public information officer for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
So what do you do if you encounter a bear?
“You want to respect wildlife by keeping your distance and after that, you want to get to a safe place,” Paglia said. “If it's a public area, you can call local law enforcement because local law enforcement is going to be in the best position to respond quickly in case there's a public safety issue, and then they can always call us, and we can respond.”
If the animal is outside, do not block any potential exit points.
“The goal is to let the bear leave on its own,” Paglia added.
That’s what happened in this case. The bear walked through the yard, stopped for about eight seconds and walked away.
“The bears are looking for anything that smells on your property, so you want to secure or remove anything on your property that can attract a bear, and that's garbage, that's pet food, that's fruit trees, that's an uncleaned barbecue or grill,” Paglia said.
Lewis said she keeps her dog, Grace, indoors at night, and during their walks, she takes additional safety measures.
“A short leash even in the park,” Lewis said. “A lot of people are braver than me, and they let their dogs run loose, but she's too little. ”
Still surprised by the bear moment, the Seatons are taking some extra precautions.
“Making sure there's no food or anything that could attract the bear,” said Ella Seaton.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife recommends staying aware of your surroundings during hikes and especially if you live near an open area.