MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) – There wasn’t a picnic basket inside, but that didn’t stop a bear from heading into a Murrells Inlet restaurant.
Brandon Huestis had his phone in hand and caught video of a black bear cub rummaging around inside the Inlet Provision Company Thursday night.
Huestis, a cook for the nearby Hot Fish Club, said he went to the restaurant to visit some former co-workers when he came up close and personal with the animal.
A startled Huestis is seen quickly running out of the Inlet Provision - dropping a few profanities in the process – after spotting the cub. A woman is also heard on the video asking, “Where did it come from?”
The cub is seen in the doorway before running out of the restaurant after a few seconds.
“I was scared but I knew that the bear was also scared too,” Huestis said.
He added he kept his distance from the animal since he knew the cub’s mother probably wasn’t too far away.
Huestis shared his video to Facebook late Thursday night. By 3 p.m. Friday, it had over 2,300 views.
Thursday’s encounter was the latest in a rash of bear sightings along the Grand Strand.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said the increase is mostly due to habitat loss.
Coastal residents are now asked to take precautions this summer by putting away birdfeeders, cleaning grills and keeping garbage out of the bears’ reach.