Clueless Pennsylvania man shows why it's a bad idea to try to wrangle a bear at a picnic

Black bear standing on rocks
Black bears are not naturally aggressive, unless you harass them (Image credit: Getty)

A video has surfaced online of a man being swiped by a large black bear after it gate crashes his picnic.

The bear, which will be making preparations for winter torpor, appears to be on the prowl for food and has found its way into a lakeside barbeque without an invitation. Instead of giving the bear a wide berth and waiting for it to leave on its own, one of the guests tries to usher the bear out, and quickly leans why that's a bad idea.

The clip, which you can watch below, was shot in Lake Harmony, Pennsylvania, a popular summer resort near the state's eastern border. It was shared via Instagram account TouronsOfNationalParks, which calls out examples of bad behavior at sites of natural beauty around the world. Other recent examples include a man nearly falling into a cliff after vaulting a fence, a Colorado tourist learning a painful lesson trying to pet moose and a hormone-fueled bull elk take out frustration on Yellowstone ranger's truck.

Black Bear numbers have increased exponentially in Pennsylvania, from around 4,000 in the 1970s to around 18,000 today, making bear sightings in the state commonplace, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The dramatic rise in numbers appears to have led some Pennsylvania residents to be a little too comfortable around bears, and has prompted an increase in conflicts. 

Bear safety

Bears prefer to avoid people altogether, although in many areas they have come to associate the presence of humans with food availability. Always secure food using bear canisters when you're camping in bear country and if you come face to face with a bear, make a lot of noise, avoid eye contact and back away slowly. Don't run, and in the highly unlikely even that a bear attacks, fight back. Learn more in our article on what to do if you meet a bear: a guide to wildlife safety.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.