A group of tourists at Yellowstone National Park have been caught on camera chasing a young bear across a road, despite recent warnings from the National Park Service (NPS) to respect wildlife and keep well back.
Photographer James Dean was in the area at the time, and managed to record the animal, which appears to be a cinnamon-colored black bear, being pursued by at least three people.
"Adolescent black bear crossed the river towards a crowd of tourons who were crowding the shore for photos," wrote Dean. He shared his video on Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone, which calls out bad behavior at US National Parks, often involving wildlife. Other recent incidents have included Yellowstone visitors harassing bison, being chased by elk, and jumping out at bears while making gorilla noises.
A photo posted by on
In fact, there have been so many cases of people bothering wildlife in recent weeks that the NPS published a warning calling on visitors to stop, for their own safety and that of the animals.
"Approaching wild animals can drastically affect their well-being and, in some cases, their survival," said the NPS. "When an animal is near a campsite, trail, boardwalk, parking lot, on a road, or in a developed area, leave it alone and give it space."
Interacting with wildlife doesn't just put people at risk, it also endangers the animals. Over time, they can become food conditioned, meaning they see humans and their settlements as a source of resources, or habituated, meaning they lose their natural wariness.
Both of these situations mean encounters with humans are more likely, and if an animal feels threatened and attacks a person, it's likely to be euthanized for the safety of the public.
For more advice, see our guides what to do if you meet a bear and wildlife safety: eight tips for unexpected encounters.
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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).