A Scottish couple had a near miss with an unexpected local when they were holidaying in the US.

Bob and Irene McKeown from Scotland were visiting relatives in Pasadena, Southern California, when they were approached by a bear outside their home.

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Surveillance video captured the brief episode in front of the house, which is located in the foothills near the Angeles National Forest. The McKeowns were leaving the residence at the time.

In the video, the bear slowly approaches the entrance, stopping once the couple walks out of the building.

It pauses to look at the couple, who are unaware of the animal's presence, as they lock the front door.

After helping Irene into the vehicle, Bob felt something on his leg, as reported by local news outlet KTLA.

"I closed the door and I looked…. a bear!" Mr McKeown said.

"You don't know how scared you are, you just see a bear. I've never encountered a bear."

With his wife safely inside the vehicle, Mr McKeown ran for the stairs to let himself back into the house.

He did not escape unharmed however, as the bear had nicked him on his right leg.

After a trip to hospital, and a tetanus shot, his wife said he was fine, apart from a slightly bruised ego.

"We are getting teased," she said.

"Our friends keep saying 'How did you not see it?' We just weren't looking."

Animal control officers and Pasadena police, armed with shotguns, were on the scene monitoring the bear as it meandered.

J.C. Healy with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said: "'He might be just knocking, looking around for some garbage cans, looking for something to eat and then once he couldn't find something, or he found something, he'll work his way back to an area where he feels safe, which is suitable habitat."