According to the National Park Service, there is an average of one bear attack per year in Yellowstone National Park. This statistic is surprising considering the risky behavior of some tourists who approach wild bears for the sake of capturing a close-up photo with their camera phones.
A recent incident of this nature was captured on video and shared on the Tourons of Yellowstone Instagram account. The account regularly posts videos of tourists behaving irresponsibly around wildlife in the park. The original poster of the video expressed concern, stating, “Togwotee Pass. I genuinely thought we were going to see a mauling. An absolute idiot and so much disrespect for the bear. He ruined the moment for everyone watching peacefully from a distance.”
The video shows a man approaching a bear that was grazing in a grassy area near a road, with his phone raised to take a photo. Startled by the human’s presence, the bear moved back a few feet and continued sniffing the ground.
Even among the videos shared on the Instagram page, this particular incident stands out as one of the most reckless and thoughtless. It is important to note that the National Park Service advises visitors to Yellowstone to maintain a distance of at least 100 yards from bears at all times and to never approach them for photographs.
The actions of this tourist were not only dangerous for himself but also for the bear. The National Park Service website states that bears that display aggression towards humans often have to be euthanized.
When visiting a national park, the primary goal should always be to appreciate the beauty and wonders of nature without causing harm. Climate activism starts with respecting nature, and increased interactions between wildlife and humans should lead to more education and understanding about our natural world and a desire to protect it, rather than exploit it.
Comments on the Instagram post expressed shock and criticism towards the tourist’s behavior. One commenter wrote, “I’m genuinely shocked that there aren’t more people (like the person filming) calling this guy out for being an absolute tool.” Another commenter warned, “If the bear started charging him, he wouldn’t even reach the other side of the road before becoming fresh lunch for the bear.”
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