BURKE COUNTY, N.C. -- A Knoxville woman had an extremely unsettling encounter with a bear while spending time relaxing at her parent's North Carolina house over Memorial Day weekend.
Early last Thursday around 7 a.m., Kristen Jones, says she went down to the lake to do some yoga when she sat down on the bottom step of the dock to watch the sunrise.
"I had my earbuds in and wasn't really paying attention," Jones said.
Something sniffed then licked her on the shoulder.
"I reached up over my right shoulder to pet what I thought was my neighbor's dog," she said. "Something didn't feel right... it felt prickly and sharp."
It was a bear.
"I took a couple of steps back into the water," she recalled.
Woman has close encounter with bear
The bear just turned around and began walking into the woods, and Jones was able to snap a few photos.
The Lake James home has been in the family since 1983, Jones says, and no one had ever seen a bear before.
"I don't think I've felt that vulnerable [before]," she said. "If someone would have told me that story without the photos, I wouldn't have believed it either."
Jones says the encounter, start to finish, lasted about 60 seconds.
Jones, who grew up in the Lake James home, now lives in Knoxville.