Two men out for a run in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, recently got the scare of a lifetime when a black bear joined them on the trail.
In footage posted on YouTube, the bear approaches the men on the Matcheetawin Discovery Trails and becomes increasingly aggressive.
The bear follows the men and at one point appears to make a run at them. The pair can be heard trying to figure out what to do as they retreat from the animal, which continues to pursue them.
When the bear briefly scampers up a tree, the men take off running. Eventually, they make it back to their vehicle -- but they may have sent the wrong message to the bear by retreating.
"If the bear follows you and its attention is clearly directed at you, then stand your ground and prepare to use your deterrent. A bear that is initially curious or testing you may become predatory if you do not stand up to it," the Bear Smart website advises for black bear encounters.
"Act aggressively. Look it straight in the eyes and let it know you will fight if attacked. Shout! Make yourself look as big as possible. Stamp your feet and take a step or two toward the bear. Threaten the bear with whatever is handy (stick, pole, bear spray). The more the bear persists, the more aggressive your response should be."
Get more advice on how to handle encounters with black bears -- and how to prepare yourself for any trip through bear country -- on the Bear Smart website.
And whatever you do, don't feed the bears.
Bears that receive food from humans (including food left behind and improperly stored food) can become conditioned, and act increasingly aggressive to get more. That sometimes doesn't end well for the humans, or the bears.
This post has been updated to indicate that the advice above is not applicable for every bear species.