The National Park Service has issued a hilarious list of tips to avoid bear attacks – including not using friends as bait – after a string of close encounters at parks around the US.
The agency released the advice in a Facebook post on Sunday which opened with telltale signs that a bear is agitated.
‘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 post read. ‘The bear’s nervous? Heed this warning and slowly back away.’
The post continued with a bulleted list of what tourists should not do when they find themselves in close proximity of a bear.
‘Do not immediately drop to the ground and “play dead.” Bears can sense overacting,’ one tip reads.
‘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,’ another states.
‘Running to a tree or frantically climbing a tree may provoke a bear to chase you. If the friend you pushed down somehow made it up a tree and is now extending you a hand, there’s a good chance you’re not getting up that tree. Karma’s a bear,’ a third reads.
The National Park Service has issued a hilarious list of tips to avoid bear attacks – including not using friends as bait – after a string of close encounters at parks around the US (file photo)
The agency released the advice in a Facebook post (pictured) on Sunday
‘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,’ one tip states
While the National Park Service has general tips for how to stay safe around bears, Sunday’s advice was more specific and as many people noted in the comments, humorous.
They advised tourists that attempting to run away is not wise, as bears in Yellowstone chase down elk calves all the time.
‘You do not want to look like a slow elk calf,’ National Park Service warned.
Running also has the potential to trigger a ‘chase response’ in the bear and no matter how fast you may be, you can’t outrun a bear, National Park Service said.
‘Frantically’ climbing a tree might also not be the best bet because bears are great at climbing trees especially when there is something up the tree they want.
‘Also, when was the last time you climbed a tree?’ post asks.
What is advised for tourists who find themselves face to face with bears is to diffuse the situation by slowly putting some distance between themselves and the bear.
It also helps to be prepared with bear spray.
‘Draw your bear spray from the holster, remove the safety tab, and prepare to use it if the bear charges,’ Park rangers advised.
Yellowstone National Park regulation states that visitors should keep a minimum 100-yard distance from bears at all times
Sunday’s public safety announcement comes after several high profile close calls with bears, including footage of a brave young woman in California who fought off a bear with her bare hands to protect her dogs as it was climbing her garden wall that went viral earlier this month.
Yellowstone National Park has also seen its fair share of close encounters with the mammal.
In May a 39-year-old man was seriously injured by a grizzly bear while hiking alone on a trail near Mammoth Hot Springs.
The hiker encountered two grizzly bears and one attacked him, causing serious injuries to his lower extremities.
That same day a passenger captured the moment a Yellowstone National Park ranger shot at a grizzly bear as it charged toward him and a road filled with cars.
That was also only weeks after Yellowstone National Park launched an investigation into a woman caught on footage getting too close for comfort to a sow and her two cubs near the Roaring Mountain parking lot.
The incident prompted Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly to remind visitors to respect the park regulation that states that visitors should keep a minimum 100-yard distance from bears at all times and never feed or approach them to take a photo.
‘We’ve already seen numerous close calls with bears this year and had one visitor seriously injured last week, he said at the time. ‘Visitors need to maintain appropriate distances to wildlife and understand these animals are wild and can kill or injure humans very easily if threatened.’