Rangers at Yellowstone National Park are investigating an incident that could easily have turned gruesome.
A viral video from May 10 shows an unidentified woman approaching a grizzly bear mother and her two cubs at the park’s Roaring Mountain. Video – posted by witness Darcie Addington, who did not know the woman, shows the woman holding up her phone, apparently taking pictures of the bears.
The mother bear runs towards her, and the woman turns and walks away quickly. Voices in the background can be heard saying “fucking shit” and “oh my god”.
Other people around had warned the woman that she was too close to the bears, Addington told USA Today.
“It was terrifying,” she said.
Yellowstone is trying to identify the woman, the park said in an Instagram post in which it asked anyone with relevant information to contact the National Park Service’s Directorate of Investigative Services.
In an unrelated incident, a man solo hiking in Yellowstone was hospitalized after a bear mutilated him on Friday.
For the safety of humans and bears, the NPS asks park visitors to stay at least 100 meters from bears at all times, never feed them, and never approach them for a photo.
Visitors inappropriately approaching wildlife for photo ops are an ongoing problem. In 2015, several people were injured by bison in Yellowstone, including at least three who were gored or lifted into the air after approaching the animals to take pictures. Last year, a woman in Custer State Park in South Dakota sat down in the middle of a herd of bison to take photos, prompting a female bison to load her up and rip off his pants.
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