National Park Service Warns Visitors Not To Push Friends Into Bears
By Jason Hall
June 16, 2021
The National Park Service is warning visitors to avoid pushing their friends down in areas with bears around.
Park rangers shared a post on the National Park Service's verified Facebook account on Sunday (June 13) detailing what to do if facing a situation in which you get too close to a bear.
“If a bear clacks its teeth, sticks out its lips, huffs, woofs, or slaps the ground with its paws, it is warning you that you are too close and are making it nervous,” the National Park Service said in the post. “The bear’s nervous? Heed this warning and slowly back away.”
Rangers acknowledged that it may be instinctive to back away slowly, but other tips should be followed including always avoiding playing dead, running, shouting or making sudden movements to startle the bear, as well as avoiding pushing a friend down to save yourself.
“Do not run up and push the bear and do not push a slower friend down…even if you feel the friendship has run its course,” park rangers said.
The warning comes after two recent incidents involving bears getting too close to humans at Yellowstone National Park.
The incident took place on May 28 after a park ranger arrived at a bear jam between Norris junction and Swan Lake Flat, Yellowstone officials confirmed in a statement obtained by KBZK.
Several other people were out of their vehicles and within 20 yards of a pair of grizzly bears, with some coming too close to the bears in order to take photos and blocking them from crossing the road at the time of the incident, according to the statement.
A separate incident showed a woman taking a picture of bears and getting too close to their habitat, causing a bear to charge in her direction last month.
Darcie Addington, who captured the incident from the safety of her vehicle, said the grizzly came within 15 feet of the woman, despite several people warning her and others that they were too close to the bears.
Fortunately, the bear stopped in its tracks and turned around before getting closer to the woman, who managed to walk away.