Bear Licks Woman As She Browses TikTok: 'He Went in for a Second Lick...I Was Like, Nope'

A bear licked a woman's face as she sat on her porch having a cigarette and browsing TikTok. Melanie Porter, from Quesnel, British Columbia, said she saw something dark moving in her yard when she looked up and saw a bear.

"I freeze," she told the Prince George Citizen. "I'm thinking 'oh, what do I do? What do I do?' I'm just going to stay still."

The bear then got closer and sniffed her and licked her right hand. "And I'm thinking 'oh s***, oh s***, oh s***, s***, s***,'" she said. "I'm thinking 'oh, what's it going to do, what's it going to do, what's it going to do.'"

Porter told Canada's Global News: "And then he went in for a second lick and his mouth was more open, and I was like, 'Nope,' so I pulled it back and he decided to kind of back up. I must have startled him."

The bear then moved away and Porter quickly took a photo of the animal: "He kind of backed up and then it brought its paws up and it looked like it was going to stand up and I was like oh my gawd I am going to pick up my phone and take a picture because who's going to believe me?" She told the Prince George Citizen. "And if I die at least they'll see who the culprit is."

British Columbia Parks says that if anyone encounters a bear, they should try to stay calm. It advises people to talk in a "low, calm voice" even if the bear has not yet seen them. It says to back up slowly and not turn and run, as this could trigger an attack.

Staring at the bear is also seen as a challenge so should be avoided. Finally, it says if you are approached, to either play dead or to fight back. "Roll on your stomach, cover the back of your neck, remain still and play dead, they will lose interest and leave. Do NOT run!," the BC Parks website says.

"In rare cases, a bear may see a human as prey and stalk you along a trail. In these cases, try to escape into a building, car or up a tree. If you cannot escape and the bear charges, use your bear spray, lacking that, use anything at your disposal to fight off the bear."

After the bear left Porter, she went back into her house. She then called her neighbor who checked her cameras. Footage showed the bear was near Porter for far longer than she realized, standing about 10 feet from her when she went outside. "It was so dark and he was so quiet and stealthy I didn't see him," she said.

Porter told Global News that the bear tongue felt like being licked by a dog. "Basically a gigantic dog tongue, like a Newfoundland Labrador." Friends of Porter told her the species was a black bear, based on its claws.

Kim Titchener, founder of Bear Safety & More, which provides bear and wildlife safety training, told Newsweek that the bear Porter encountered was probably moving through the residential area in search of food.

She said Porter was in danger. "The bear was trying to determine what she was and if she was food," Titchener said. "Luckily most black bears don't see people as food, but how you behave in an encounter can help to avoid an attack.

"If I realized there was a bear in my yard, I would slowly move towards the door of my house or the closest vehicle to avoid the encounter. If it approached, I would make noise to deter it, while moving toward safety. Remember that this bear was not expecting to see a person and not likely seeking out a person. It is a good reminder to not leave any wildlife attractants out in your yard and if you do live in an area where bears do come into yards, improve the lighting in your yard and have a can of bear spray out there with you."

Bear attacks are rare in North America, with five fatalities recorded in 2020. However, there has been a slight uptick in cases over 2021. In Canada, there were three fatal attacks in the space of three months, with the last victim being a 26-year-old woman who was working in a small village in Alberta, western Canada.

This article has been updated to include quotes from Kim Titchener.

black bear
Stock photo of an American black bear. A woman in Canada was licked by a bear as she sat browsing TikTok on her porch. Getty Images