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A Friendly Reminder: Wild Animals Will Still Mess You Up

A Friendly Reminder: Wild Animals Will Still Mess You Up

Despite warnings, rules, and common sense, tourists in Yellowstone keep approaching bears and bison.

Adam Roy, Backpacker Magazine -

Grizzly bears can top 1,000 pounds and stand nearly 10 feet tall; with four-inch claws and a predator’s canines, they’re equipped to take down prey and defend themselves from intruders with deadly force. So it’s a little vexing that tourists at Yellowstone keep trying to go near them.

A viral Instagram video from May captured an all-too-typical example: In the clip by user Darcie Addington, a woman tries to snap a photo of three grazing grizzlies from close range, with only a stone half-wall between them. When one (rather unsurprisingly) bluff charges her, she quickly steps away. Park rangers are searching for the woman, who appears to have broken park rules prohibiting visitors from approaching closer than 100 yards to a bear.

Listen, we don’t want to sound elitist. We understand that people have different levels of experience in the outdoors. But should anyone really need a rule to tell them not to go near a grizzly? They’re the largest terrestrial predator in the lower 48 states; while bear attacks aren’t common, they happen, most recently in April when a grizzly fatally mauled a guide just outside the park. And when attacks do happen, they get enough media coverage that even the biggest homebody should know by now that grizzlies can hurt or kill you if they want.

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