Fearless boy, 12, followed by a bear in a chilling video from Italy

A young boy had a thrilling experience with a massive brown bear during a family hike.

The 12-year-old showed no fear as he was slowly walking away from the hulking animal in a tense encounter caught on camera.

The brave boy, Alessandro Franzoi, was hiking with his family near Sporminore in northern Italy, as Global News reports. But he never saw what was coming. Alessandro stumbled upon a Marsican brown bear, which can weigh up to 220 kilograms (485 pounds). The breathtaking encounter happened on Sunday, May 24.

Image credits: Loris Callari

At the time, the boy was ahead of his family, but he suddenly turned around and started carefully and calmly retracing his steps.

Apparently, Alessandro knew he’s going to be an Internet sensation since he told his family to record him while bravely walking away from the bear.

In the video, the courageous teen can be seen carefully walking down the slope, holding his hands out in front of him balled into fists. The bear walks right behind him from a distance of five to ten meters, as if they were playing a game.

Loris Calliari, Alessandro’s stepfather, can be heard quietly guiding him through the chilling scene. Meanwhile, the boy turns around to check on the bear behind him, but he doesn’t stop moving.

The second time he turns back, the bear stands up on its hind legs, seemingly taking a curious look at the family. The 12-year-old just smiles, and at one point in the video, he says how ‘cool’ this experience is. Shortly after, the brown bear loses interest and stops following the boy.

Calliari told CNN they were on a Sunday family hike when they stumbled upon the sleeping Marsican brown bear. He added:

“I noticed that he was moving and I told [Alessandro] to walk slowly, to be careful, that I will take a picture but to move. I was nervous at first but then saw that the bear was not scared, was not acting, so I calmed down.”

Image credits: Loris Callari

Alessandro’s stepfather also shares they had recently watched a video about bear encounters, so the boy was ‘prepared’ for such a thrilling moment. On the contrary, the boy’s mother and grandmother were both scared and screaming.

Luckily, Alessandro was fearless and remained calm during the whole overwhelming experience.

The U.S. National Parks Service advises that if a bear stays still, it’s best to slowly move sideways, as this ‘allows you to keep an eye on the bear and avoid tripping’. The brave Italian boy was clearly aware of this information since that’s exactly what he did in the video.

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