A biologist’s close encounter with a pair of bears has grabbed the attention of TikTokers.
Platform user Kayla (@kaylawildlife) posted footage of a mother and cub on the way to a nearby waterfall to feed, filming the journey over her shoulder while she and her companions kept silent and still so as not to provoke the animals.
Kayla said it was the nearest she had ever been to bear, and for one user, it was entirely too close for comfort.
“I would’ve s*** myself,” the commenter said, with Kayla replying that it was “definitely not for the faint of heart.”
“I would like to preface and say never at any point during this trip did I feel unsafe,” Kayla captioned the post. “Bears in these areas are highly habituated to human activity and the guides always carry bear spray!”
@kaylawildlife I would like to preface and say never at any point during this trip did I feel unsafe. Bears in these areas are highly habituated to human activity and the guides always carry bear spray! #wildlife #wildlifeencounters #encounters #bearencounter #grizzlybear #fyp ♬ Interstellar on Piano – Andy Morris
While it’s unclear where in the world Kayla was when recording the video, for those encountering bears in the wild, keeping your distance is so important.
Indeed, while Kayla observed that these particular bears were habituated, that can usually be detrimental to an animal’s survival.
With fear instincts reduced, an animal is more likely to approach a human and act aggressively, which could result in the bear being put down because they would be considered a danger to people. When a mother is protecting a cub, this type of behavior is more likely.
But the experts exhibited calm and restraint by not approaching the animals or trying to capture their attention. In fact, Kayla noted that as long as the onlookers didn’t pose a threat to the bears, they would leave the group alone, demonstrating an understanding that leads to peaceful coexistence rather than conflict.
It was an incredible encounter, with Kayla describing herself as “very lucky” to have been there.
But others in such close proximity with the animals have demonstrated worrying behavior that underscores the critical need for greater public awareness about the proper way to experience nature.
One tourist in Yellowstone National Park received a fine and jail time for approaching a mother bear and cubs for a photograph, while another in Grand Teton National Park actively taunted the creatures.
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