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Onlooker records tourist encroaching on grizzly bear at national park: 'They can run faster than you think'

"Identify, fine and ban these people."

"Identify, fine and ban these people."

Photo Credit: Instagram

During a recent act of extreme recklessness by a "touron" — a combination of "tourist" and "moron" — in a national park, onlookers had no choice but to grin and bear it, literally. 

A video of the incident posted to the TouronsOfYellowstone (@touronsofyellowstone) page shows traffic stopped in both directions, then a woman outside of her car and uncomfortably close to a bear crossing the road so she could take a photo or video. 

#Keep100YardsFromBears, #BeBearAware, and #GetBackInYourCar read just a few of the hashtags accompanying the post, and for good reason. 

The National Park Service advises that you never approach wildlife, stating, "The animals in Yellowstone are wild and unpredictable, no matter how calm they appear to be. The safest (and often best) view of wildlife is from inside a car. Always stay at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves, and at least 25 yards (23 m) away from all other animals, including bison and elk."

As the effects of our overheating planet continue to impact daily lives, many are changing how they plan and take vacations, meaning the national parks may start seeing more tourists. 

While our parks, and nature in general, are beautiful places that allow us to see wildlife, among other incredible sights, the animals and environments should be treated with respect, and wildlife-human interactions should be handled responsibly. 

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Recklessness like that exhibited by this tourist is stressful for both wildlife and bystanders, as well as the park rangers whose job it is to protect the ecosystem. These incidents — aside from endangering the lives of those involved in them — also endanger wildlife. Animals who experience interference from humans are often rejected by others, and those that injure humans, provoked or unprovoked, may be euthanized.

Commenters on the post were justifiably shocked and appalled. 

"Are you crazy?" one questioned. "That's a bear and they can run faster than you think!! You'll find out!"

"Dumb ways to die," added a second. 

"Just don't kill the bear for a human stupidity," offered a third. 

"Identify, fine and ban these people," demanded one more. "For the betterment and enjoyment of the people."

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