A Vancouver Island black bear was far more startled than a Langford father and son when they came face-to-face this week. 

Ben Hughes and his son were in a wooded area near their Happy Valley home Monday when a large black bear lumbered up to a tree fort they were playing in. 

“He had no idea we were there,” Hughes told CTV News. “He was just minding his own business.”

Cell phone video shot by the Langford father shows the bruin slowly saunter up the tree they were elevated in. Once at the tree's base, and only metres from his nine-year-old son, Hughes softly says “hey.” 

“His eyes went wide and he bolted,” the Langford dad recalled. 

Peering up at the pair, the bear quickly turned tail and dashed back into the forest.

In June, the BC Conservation Officer Service said bear encounters had already reached historic highs in the province in recent months.

In April and May, officers were called to 3,286 reports of black bear encounters, high above the eight-year average of 2,400 for the same two-month period.