Seeing a bear in the wild is not the same as seeing a bear at the zoo. There is zero protection should it decide it is tired of your company.
That’s why Redditors were stunned to see a group of tourists exiting their car to get a closer look at a brown bear grazing at the side of a road in Alaska.
The person who posted the video provided some narration to recap the troubling situation.
They noted that the first car in the shot, which clearly has a rental company’s logo on it, had pulled up at the side of the Klondike Highway, and the passengers left the relative safety of the vehicle to get some pictures. One individual even hung out of the car window.
“If that bear decided it felt threatened and wanted to attack people, it could be there in the blink of an eye,” the narrator said. “[The tourists] will not have time to get into their car to safety.”
Not only was this behavior irresponsible, but the entitled tourists’ actions after local intervention were also reprehensible.
The incident was filmed from a tour guide’s bus just ahead of the misguided tourists, and the narrator said the bus driver honked the vehicle’s horn to scare the bear off, with the situation becoming increasingly concerning for both animals and humans.
The tourists did not take kindly to that decision, and they approached the bus driver, hurled insults at her, and spat at her. In all, these individuals did not cover themselves in glory.
“I quite literally fail to understand WHY people decide to get so close to wild animals,” said one Redditor who commented on the video. “ESPECIALLY BEARS AND BISON.”
“I’ve seen the same thing in the same place,” another user said. “Even worse is that this behaviour acclimates bears to being around people.”
“And the bears end up paying the price,” another Redditor replied.
Indeed, if bears become too comfortable around humans, there’s an increased likelihood they will attack. If that happens, the bear in question may be euthanized, as they will be deemed a threat to human life.
The actions of these tourists showed a complete disregard for their own safety as well as serious disrespect for nature. Exploring national parks provides a great opportunity to connect with nature and, hopefully, inspire us to protect our home. Treating the parks and wildlife with respect makes the experience better for everyone, especially the animals.
“Don’t do this, just observe from a distance,” were the parting words of the narrator.
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