It all started when Dave Fleishman noticed his dogs sniffing under his back deck. The wildlife photographer, who lives in South Lake Tahoe, California, was confused. The pups were the only ones who ever went under the deck, so why were they suddenly behaving as though there was a new smell?
To find out, Fleishman set up a hidden camera beneath the deck. When he checked the footage, he couldn’t believe his eyes.
There, bumbling around right under his house, was a huge bear.
This wasn’t the first time Fleishman had seen a bear in his neighborhood, but it was the first time he’d seen one so close to his home. The area where Fleishman lives is considered a “bear highway,” which means bears are, well, everywhere.
“They’re literally wandering around all day long,” Fleishman told The Dodo. “So if you don’t see a bear in Lake Tahoe during the summer, you’re not looking for them.”
As Fleishman continued to go through the footage, he ended up spotting another unexpected guest — a bobcat.
“I’m used to seeing bears, but bobcats are pretty rare here,” Fleishman said. “I’ve never seen one with my own two eyes … Seeing it under the deck was pretty fantastic.”
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, bobcats are crepuscular animals, which means they’re most active just before sunrise and just after sunset. This makes them very hard to spot at any other point in the day.
Fleishman, who loves documenting nature, is thrilled to have captured such amazing wildlife on film. Although, next time, he’d prefer it if larger, uninvited guests could hang out a bit further away from his house.