Tourists caught off guard by runaway bears

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YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK — Recent footage shows a group of tourists running away from a small family of black bears in Yellowstone National Park.

The video starts with the tourists getting a little too close to a mother bear and three cubs. A group of about 20 tourists with cameras were apparently looking at the bears before the bears started getting territorial.

The group of what seems to be mostly older spectators had to quickly escape the charging bear and her cub. The Facebook page for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks encourages people to give these animals their space and room to roam.

“View and photograph from established observation areas,” the Facebook page said. “Stay a safe distance to reduce stress on wildlife. Luckily, no one was hurt and these bears made it safely back to the forest.”

The National Park Service has some tips to stay safe in case anyone sees a bear in the wild. The first tip it gives is to check with the nearest visitor center to check on the latest bear safety information.

If you do meet a bear or there is a chance for a bear encounter there are 10 tips to remember from the NPS:

1. Pick up small children

This is the first thing to do if you have them close. 2. Identify yourself

Talk calmly and slowly so they bear knows you are human and not prey. Remain still and stand your ground but slowly wave your arms. A standing bear is usually curious, not threatening. 3. Stay calm

Most bears don’t want to attack you; they usually just want to be left alone. Bears may charge and then turn away at the last second while making noises, snapping their jaws and the like. Stay calm and talk in low tones. A scream or sudden movement may trigger an attack. Don’t make bear sounds or high-pitched squeals. 4. Hike and travel in groups

Because of the greater amount of smell a group will create the bear will recognize humans earlier. The group will also intimidate the bear. 5. Make yourselves look as large as possible

This includes getting to higher ground or just using whatever you can to look bigger than you are — hopefully bigger than the bear. 6. Do not allow the bear to get your food

Getting food will only make the situation worse for you and others. 7. Do not drop your pack

You pack can protect your back and keep the bear from accessing your food. 8. Move away slowly and sideways

Use this if the bear is stationary. This technique allows you to keep an eye on the bear and avoid tripping. Moving sideways isn’t threatening to bears. Don’t run, but if the bear follows stop and hold your ground. Bears are faster than you. They will chase fleeing animals, and they also can climb trees. 9. Leave the area

If you see a bear in the area, go somewhere else. Leave the bear an escape route and wait until the bear leaves to go to that area. 10. Be especially cautious if you see a female with cubs

Like in the video, a female with cubs will be especially protective. Never place yourself between them and never attempt to approach them.

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Jarom Moore


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