Wildlife officials have asked Florida residents to do their best to avoid bears, after a second attack in one week was caught on camera.
Florida resident Walter Hickox is earning praise on social media over a video of him fighting off a bear trying to enter his home. This marked the second bear attack in one week in the state, officials said.
"Not a lot went through my head at the moment, other than what's going to happen if he gets past me and into the house where the rest of my dogs and my wife was at," Hickox told WFTV about his recent encounter with a black bear trying to enter his home.
The footage, captured by a Ring camera, shows the bear entering Hickox's porch area in Daytona Beach last week. Hickox responds by pushing the bear repeatedly until he is able to obstruct the doorway with a bench. He can also be seen blocking one of his dogs from the wild animal. The Daytona resident himself only sustained minor injuries from the skirmish.
Hickox now says he will be installing a new door and keeping bear spray nearby in case of future intruders. The bear in the video has not been caught, authorities told local media.
Wildlife officials have warned residents to avoid bears at all costs, especially in light of Hickox's incident and of another attack last week. In the same week as Hickox's trouble, a woman in DeBary was attacked by a bear while walking her dog.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee, the woman said she was "jumped" on by a bear and thrown to the ground. She suffered minor injuries, as well as a concussion.
An adult female bear was later found nearby with her three cubs. The mother was darted and killed out of cited concern for public safety, while the 100-pound cubs were released. Bears occupy roughly 49% of Florida, according to wildlife officials.