PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. – It was an un-bear-able visit one Tennessee tourist won't likely ever forget.
While Illet Al Junaidi praised a bear for being cute while on vacation in Pigeon Forge, the animal did her "so dirty," she said. The woman posted a video on TikTok on Oct. 13 from a 2020 visit to the Great Smoky Mountains with her husband.
"Hi cutie! Why are you so cute?" she says in the video as she greets the bear standing behind a gate in front of her cabin.
"I decided to go say, ‘hi,' because he seemed nice, but that was not the case," she said. "As soon as I got comfortable, he charged at me."
"Oh, hell no!" a scared Al Junaidi screams as she runs back into her cabin.
She said didn’t go out for the rest of her four-day trip after the incident.
Bears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are wild, and their behavior can be unpredictable, the National Parks Service said. Although extremely rare, attacks on humans have occurred, inflicting serious injuries and death.
"Being too close may promote aggressive behavior from the bear such as running toward you, making loud noises, or swatting the ground," the park service said. "The bear is demanding more space. Don't run, but slowly back away, watching the bear. Increase the distance between you and the bear.
If you follow these steps, the bear will probably do the same, officials said.