• Outdoors Outdoors

Tourist records her unfathomably close encounter with mother grizzly and her cubs: ‘You literally almost died’

“You are so lucky!”

"You are so lucky!"

Photo Credit: @ilma.v / TikTok

In a video of a wildlife encounter a little too close for comfort, one National Park visitor left viewers relieved she got out with their life. 

Posted to TikTok by ILMA (@ilma.v), the video shows an extremely close encounter with a mama bear and her three cubs while hiking in Glacier National Park. 

“I went hiking at Glacier National Park, and there’s actually a lot of warnings for bears, and I actually saw these bear tracks on the way up,” they say. 

They explain that they ran into a deer and a moose on the way up, then, eventually, the mama bear and her cubs. “[I] was just three feet away from her when I saw her. She growled at me, and then she took three aggressive steps towards me to kind of scare me away from her cubs,” they continue, before saying the bear then stood up on two paws. 

@ilma.v Like literally cleared the trail for everyone going up🤦🏼‍♀️#PlutoTVIsFree #🐻family #glaciernationalpark #bearcountry #montana ♬ Jupiter & Mars – ARDN

At this point, they finally wised up and took off. 

“You should really be 100 yards away it’s the safest thing to do,” commented one viewer on the post, and they’re exactly right. 

The National Park Service (NPS) guidelines for wildlife are that for most species, like moose, elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and deer, visitors must maintain at least 25 yards of distance, and for wolves, grizzly bears, black bears, and mountain lions, a distance of at least 100 yards should be observed.

The NPS further states, “If you surprise a bear, slowly and calmly back away while avoiding direct eye contact — the bear may see this as an aggressive or challenging behavior. Slowly and calmly speak to the bear, wave your arms to let the bear know you are a human. Pick up any small children or pets immediately. Watch the bear as you leave the area.” 

The advice is not only for the safety of the humans but also for the wildlife. Another video posted to Instagram of a close encounter with a mama bear and her cub points out that animals who have too close encounters with visitors are often euthanized despite it not being their fault. 

Another tourist to Yellowstone National Park was filmed getting as close as 10 yards from a bear who charged at her before thankfully retreating instead of attacking. The tourist earned jail time, probation, and a fine, and the bear was thankfully spared. 

It is important to respect nature and all that inhabit it. Increased wildlife-human interactions should lead to more education and understanding, as reckless and entitled behavior puts everyone at risk of harm and inhibits the connection that other individuals experience with nature.

The video’s comment section was filled with much of this sentiment, as well as warnings and relief for the OP. 

“You literally almost died,” wrote one. 

You are so lucky!!!” exclaimed another. “Never mess with a grizzly mom! I would have slowly walked away while having a mini heart attack!”

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