A tourist has been caught on camera harassing a black bear at Yellowstone National Park. The shirtless man was spotted running after the animal, grunting and posturing like a gorilla to scare it away. Bears are naturally wary of people and prefer to avoid close encounters. This particular animal was already making it way back into the woods when the man decided to show off by chasing it.
The incident was shared on aptly named Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone, which documents bad behavior at US National Parks and other sites of natural beauty – often involving wildlife. Other recently posted videos have shown a man getting an antler through his car after taunting an elk, and a family using a bison as a photo prop.
The Instagram account currently appears to be suspended, but the clip has been re-uploaded to YouTube by news site Cowboy State Daily. The clip below shows the same man chasing after two bears at the park, both times ripping off his shirt before running after the animals.
It's illegal to interfere with wildlife at US National Parks, and doing so can have tragic consequences. Just a few days ago, a bison calf was euthanized at Yellowstone after being handled by a visitor. The man, Clifford Walterss, tried to help the animal by pushing it up from a river bank onto a road. However, the calf began approaching people and cars, and rangers took the difficult decision to put it down after attempts to reunite it with its mother failed.
As the New York Times reports, the man pleaded guilty to interfering with wildlife, and was ordered to pay a $500 fine, a $500 community service payment to the Yellowstone Forever Wildlife Protection Fund, a $30 special assessment and a $10 processing fee.
The National Park Service (NPS) warns visitors that all of Yellowstone National Park is bear country, and you should be prepared at all times. You should stay at least 100 yards (93 meters) from bears at all times, and never approach or try to feed them.
For more advice, see our guides what to do if you meet a bear and wildlife safety: eight tips for unexpected encounters.
- Best binoculars and monoculars: enjoy watching wildlife from a safe distance
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 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), usually wearing at least two sports watches.