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Bear Charges Tourist At Yellowstone National Park As Onlookers Film

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Jack Dunhill

Social Media Coordinator and Staff Writer

clockMay 18 2021, 15:30 UTC
Bear Charges Tourist At Yellowstone National Park As Onlookers Film

Image Credit: David Rasmus/Shutterstock.com

Update 26/05/2021: U.S. Park Rangers of Yellowstone National Park are now investigating the incident and have asked for help in identifying the woman in a social media post.

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If you ever visit Yellowstone, Yosemite, or any other park that contains bears, you will know the standard procedure: make lots of noise as you walk, stay far away from areas associated with recent bear sightings, and stay in your car whenever possible.  

At no point in this safety briefing does it include "leave car, approach bears and begin filming". 

Unfortunately, a woman visiting Yellowstone National Park who came across a bear believed this to be the best course of action, and had a very close encounter as a result.  

In a video that has gone viral online, a woman can be seen mere meters from a large bear who decides to charge at her. Luckily for the woman, the bear was performing a bluff charge, essentially telling her to back off in an attempt to scare her away.

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Video Credit: Storyful Rights Management/Youtube

Both the woman and the group of bears are fine, but the video serves as a sobering reminder as to what is appropriate when you come across potentially dangerous wildlife in Yellowstone. According to the National Park Service website, you should "stay in or next to your car when watching bears" and if one should approach, you should "honk your horn and drive away". Doing so protects you and the bears, who clearly understand that humans are a species best kept at a distance (they practically had a party during lockdown).

BBC Archives, a nostalgic branch of the UK broadcasting giant, recently brought back into the foreground a safety video that demonstrates the sort of fate that can befall one when getting too close to predatory animals. The video centers around the Longleat Safari Park’s lion enclosure which was (and remains) open to the public on the condition that they entered - and, crucially, remained - inside their car.

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With 42 animals housed within the drive-through exhibit, it wasn’t a place you’d want to go wandering when the (very Brass Eye) safety briefing was recorded in 1987. Despite this, Roger Cawley, who was a manager at Longleat Safari Park, explains that visitors to the lion enclosure had left their vehicles to check their engines and empty their bladders. One group, Cawley explains, even attempted to set up a picnic while inside, evidently not realizing that were one to take place it would be them on the menu.

Clearly, tourists of late-80s Britain were in need of a serious wake-up call. Luckily for them, Longleat Safari Park had a pretty hard-hitting demonstration up their sleeves to really hammer the message home.

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Ye be warned, bear botherers.

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