Brown Bear Breaks Into Couple's Apartment: 'I Practically Screamed in the Bear's Face'

An Italian couple has told how they had an extremely close encounter with a critically endangered brown bear after mistaking it for a burglar.

Annalisa Castagna and Claudio Parravano, from the province of Frosinone, Italy, recounted their experience in a post on the Sei di Pescosolido se community Facebook page on October 31.

"Tonight at 00.30 my husband and I had a close encounter with the bear," Castagna wrote. "Hearing noises coming from the terrace of the bedroom on the first [floor], unwary, unconscious thinking of some malicious person, we went out with the lights of the mobile phones."

The couple did not find a burglar. Instead, less than three feet away from them, was a Marsican bear. "I practically screamed in the bear's face," Castagna said. In response, the bear snarled at her and tried to reach her with its paw. "In the weak light of the mobile phone I was able to count all the teeth he had in his mouth plus the red tongue."

When Castagna retreated, the bear turned its attention to Parravano. She said her husband was "seeing himself being hunted," with the bear climbing towards him. To escape, Parravano leapt from the window—a drop of almost 10 feet.

"The fall was really bad, he has pains everywhere especially in the hip and pelvis and bruises on the whole right side," she wrote. She also said it was lucky he went for that window, as the fall from the other side would have been a 20 foot drop.

She said the bear appeared frightened and it "threw a couple of blows." Castagna ran downstairs to escape, while the bear ran away. Castagna said she had posted their encounter to warn others in the region to be careful. She said she hopes the bear returns to its natural habitat before it comes to any harm.

Marsican brown bears are critically endangered. There are only estimated to be around 50-60 left in the wild. They are found in the Apennine Mountains of Italy. Males can grow to around 6 feet and weigh up to 450 pounds. They are nocturnal, solitary animals and tend to feed on fruits, berries, roots and fungi, although they are known to take small and medium sized mammals, such as sheep.

According to AbruzzoLive, a Marsican brown bear had been spotted in a town in the Comino Valley. It was seen drinking from the fountain of the main square in San Donato Valcomino, just a few miles from Pescosolido.

Marsican brown bear
Stock image of a Marsican brown bear. A couple from the Italian town of Pescosolido found a bear in their apartment on October 31. Getty Images