When Walter Hickox Jr. told his wife that a bear had just attacked him on their front porch, she was hesitant to believe him. But luckily for him, and the entire internet, a doorbell camera in Daytona Beach, Florida, captured the heroic moment.
Motivated by his desire to protect his beloved Dachshunds, Pickles, Pepper, and Piper, Walter didn’t hesitate to spring into action when the bear pounced.
As the video begins, Walter stands near his front door as the bear charges the entrance. He had just taken his two tiny Dachshunds outside, so he was terrified for their safety. He immediately leaps into action, attempting to steal the bear’s attention away from Pepper and direct it onto himself instead.
“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,” said Walter.
Luckily, Walter had the advantage, and the bear didn’t see him until he “shoulder checked” her, bringing them face-to-face. Walter kept low to the ground and made tons of noise in an attempt to startle her. He pushed forward and did his best to block the bear from reaching his pups. In the process, he even received a bite on the shoulder that was initially intended for tiny Pepper.
Most of the action was down low, as his dogs are tiny and close to the ground, but it was obvious in the video that Walter had successfully startled her. Once he was able to knock her back, Walter slid a bench across the entrance and closed off the space between him and the bear.
“I was just attacked by a bear,” Walter screams inside to his wife as the bear backs down and scampers away.
In the end, Walter was able to protect his pups, and escape with non-life-threatening injuries, including scratches, bruising, and treatment for rabies.
Walter’s property borders a wildlife preserve where bears and other animals are frequently spotted. However, this was the first time he ever had a close encounter on his property with a dangerous wild animal. After the incident, Walter contacted the Florida Wildlife Commission, but they were unable to locate or capture the bear.
“I can’t believe how close to death I was, and I did it for my dogs,” Walter said.
You can check out the full video of this heroic dog dad down below. Be warned; it’s pretty intense!