Taking a “selfie” with a mature bear may be a no-brainer for many people—especially those with strong self-preservation instincts—but it seems that the issue was puzzling enough to require clarification from the US Forest Service. The agency’s Lake Tahoe Basin branch released a warning last week that advised visitors in the area, specifically in the Taylor Creek Visitor Center, to avoid getting too close to bears for photo-taking opportunities.

“Bears are unpredictable, wild animals and may attack if threatened,” said Forest Supervisor Nancy Gibson. “We can’t have visitors creating dangerous situations for themselves and others. People are risking serious injury or death if they get too close to a bear.”

Taking a photo is one thing, but getting close enough to one of the bears to include yourself in the picture as well is just plain dangerous. Yet it seems that enough people do it to make it a serious problem.

Check out one of the “bear selfies” below:

“We’ve had mobs of people that are actually rushing toward the bears trying to get a ‘selfie’ photo,” Forest Service spokesperson Lisa Herron told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

The annual run of Kokanee salmon has brought a large amount of bears to the creek, and with them come nature watchers. While most of the bears are content to fish for fatty salmon, wildlife officials are concerned that bear conflicts will rise if people keep approaching the animals. This time of year bears are packing on their last few pounds before winter, and they can become increasingly bold. With tourists wandering off the trails for a few snapshots of a hungry bear, officials are concerned that conflict is inevitable. Although there have been no injuries so far, one group of visitors did report a bear charging them.

“If visitors continue to disregard directions to stay away from bears at Taylor Creek, the Forest Service may close the area for public safety,” stated the Forest Service. “Approaching bears too closely is also putting bears at risk, since bears may be captured and killed if they attack.”

Image courtesy California Department of Fish and Wildlife

What's Your Reaction?

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
  • MN Steward

    Surely the bears realize these special humans are not a threat. I mean just look at the guy in the sample selfie-he looks like a perfectly fine upstanding young man, right? Maybe with enough repetition bears can learn that people don’t necessarily represent a threat. Why would the “rangers” be so closed minded and prevent the “progressive” evolution of “man” and “beast”?

    • MN Steward

      P. S. I say let them take as many selfies as they want. I’m sure the bears won’t mind. And the action shots would be cray-cray……..

  • RPJ

    Darwin at its best.

  • RPJ

    Actually the worst part of this is that people’s stupidity will not only get themselves killed but “force” officials to put down the bears that do what comes naturally to them.

  • Lightly

    Hahaha! This “selfie” was taken at an animal park in Alaska, you can rest assured there is no way the bear could ever climb the viewing cat walk. This picture is not as it seems.