Forest Service officials are condemning a bear selfie craze that involves daring tourists trying to grab a “selfie” photo with the wild animals. Authorities are giving a formal warning to visitors not to participate in this dangerous act, especially with many bears being restless during the salmon feeding season. Yet News Oxy reports this Wednesday, October 29, 2014, that people are still trying to capture a risky picture with these furry beasts in order to upload their photos to social media and showcase their “bravery.”
A sudden rise in a Forest Service bear selfie problem has prompted wildlife officials — especially in South Lake Tahoe — to tell tourists not to take photos with the animals. Apparently, an increase in the number of people attempting to snap an attention-grabbing photograph with the large creatures in the background is the reason for the warning. It’s very dangerous to travelers, they say.
“Visitor Centre staff routinely encounter unsafe situations as guests ignore their instructions and get too close to bears to take photos and videos.” The report adds that results can be fatal if tourists do not follow these instructions.
Bear attacks may not be common occurrences, but when dealing with a wild animal, rangers advise tourists to expect the unexpected. These officials fear that the close presence of humans might frighten or threaten the wild animals, prompting them to attack. The flash or sounds of a camera might also shock these animals should a “selfie” be attempted.
According to World Food News, a spokesperson for the Forest Service noted this week that there have been literal “mobs” of people this 2014 trying to take part in the craze of grabbing a dangerous photo with a bear. As a result, interactions between bears and humans has are reaching hazardous levels, and this “craze” to be warned against immediately.
“We’ve had mobs of people that are actually rushing toward the bears trying to get a ‘selfie’ photo … We are telling people they need to stay on the trails and they need to stay away from the bears … If a bear has a mind to it can run very fast.”
When threatened or feeling frightened or intimidated, bears can move incredibly fast and are powerful, dangerous animals. This 2014, a total of five fatal bear attacks have been recorded. Three of these killings were from grizzlies, while two were from black bears. Many of these rare attacks, say rangers, are a result of humans getting too close to these wild animals than they should be.
As part of the Forest Service bear selfie concerns, some wildlife officials at Lake Tahoe are beginning to post public signs warning tourists not to approach bears under any circumstances. The report concludes that a considerable number of dangerous cases of trying to grab a photo with this big, furry creature have been popping up in both the U.S. and Canada especially. With increasing bear numbers and salmon hunting season underway, this alert is an important one for all to remember.