Trail runner roasted for idiotic bear video, posts second vid to explain, gets roasted even more

Brown bear (Ursus arctos) and two cubs side by side, spring
Not the actual bears in question… we’re sure this photo was taken at a safe distance, unlike the video we’re discussing (Image credit: Johnny Johnson / Getty Images)

Ah, influencers. What a strange modern phenomenon. We just sincerely hope this influencer doesn’t influence anyone to do what she does in this pair of Instagram videos, which are basically a catalogue of what not to do when you meet some bears on a trail. Especially when the bears in question are a sow with cubs. 

In the video, Instagram influencer Laura Gold comes upon the bears while out trail running on Mount Wilson in California’s Sierra Madre. Rather than give them space – which is what all bear safety information and, let’s face it, plain common sense, urges you to do under such circumstances  – she follows them around a corner. 

This means she runs the risk of surprising them on a narrow trail, where they could easily feel cut off and threatened.

She might not have seen the problem (“I was about five inches from hitting momma bear,” she wrote), but the responses she received were overwhelming horrified.

“Walking towards a momma bear and its cubs… this is natural selection at its finest. Talk about next level stupidity,” says a typical comment.

So what is Gold’s response? Does she take down the video realizing how foolish she’s been? Nope. She doubles down with a second video to apparently explain her behavior. At least, we think that’s what she’s doing, since it seems to be in response to a comment she’s pinned over the video: “Honest question… why are you still walking in that direction?”

Except there is no explanation at all. Unless she means she’s willing to let another hiker go ahead of her so the bears can attack him first. Or maybe she just thinks the bear cubs are so cute that’s reason enough alone? She’s clearly never read our article from bears to bad decisions: 9 hazards you can’t outrun on a hike.

Just to make it clear – approaching or following a wild bear of any description is a very bad idea indeed. Do not be influenced by this video.

For more advice, take a look at our guides what to do if you meet a bear and wildlife safety: eight tips for unexpected encounters.