Watch hikers' narrow escape after straying too close to grizzly bear feasting on elk

Grizzly bear at Grant Teton National Park
(Image credit: Getty)

Seeing a grizzly bear can be a highlight of a trip to Grand Teton National Park, but a group of visitors narrowly escaped disaster recently when they strayed much too close to one of the animals as it fed on an elk carcass.

A hiker captured the moment a crowd of people left their cars to get a better look at the grizzly, and snap some pictures as mementoes. One woman even encourages her daughter to come closer for a clearer view.

The video, which you can watch below, was shared on Instagram account Tourons of Yellowstone, which specializes on foolish behavior at US National Parks, such as walking within a few feet of sparring bison.

In this case, the park visitors were lucky that the bear was focused on its meal, but things could have gone very differently. Grizzly bears, like most wild animals, prefer to be left alone and will rarely attack, but approaching a feeding animal is extremely dangerous. Grand Teton is home to both black bears and grizzlies, and the National Park Service (opens in new tab) warns that they may become aggressive if they, their young, or their food source is threatened.

The NPS also provide specific advice on visiting bear country (opens in new tab) at Grand Teton. "Never intentionally get close to a bear," it advises. "Individual bears have their own personal space requirements that vary depending on their mood. Each bear will react differently and a bear's behavior cannot be predicted. All bears are wild and dangerous and should be respected equally."

If you do accidentally find yourself in close quarters with a grizzly, you're advised to keep children and pets close, and back away so you can keep your eyes on the animal. For more advice, see our guide what to do if you meet a bear.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).