The video below, recorded by Winston Greely and posted to the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) Facebook page on May 8, shows what appears to be a black bear sow and her cubs running across a bridge near Gardiner.

When the recording starts, several groups of camera-equipped tourists in dangerously close proximity to the animals are running away from them in a (relatively) leisurely manner. As the bears get closer, an onlooker yells “Keep going! Go, go, go!” and the would-be photographers pick up their pace.

FWP videographer Winston Greely recently captured this footage of a black bear sow and her cubs near Gardiner. It serves as a reminder that wildlife can be unpredictable. For your safety and theirs, respect wildlife and give them room to roam.View and photograph from established observation areas. Stay a safe distance to reduce stress on wildlife. Luckily, no one was hurt and these bears made it safely back to the forest.

Posted by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks on Friday, May 8, 2015

Luckily, no one was hurt, and many of the tourists successfully escaped to their cars.

The FWP used the incident as a teaching moment, reminding people that “…wildlife can be unpredictable. For your safety and theirs, respect wildlife and give them room to roam. View and photograph from established observation areas. Stay a safe distance to reduce stress on wildlife.”

By our reckoning, it looks like plenty of folks weren’t adhering to those guidelines. What do you think? Can people be successfully educated about safe wildlife observing practices, or will some individuals always manage to get too close for comfort?

Image is a screenshot of video by Winston Greely for Montana FWP on Facebook

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10 thoughts on “Video: Tourists Get Way Too Close to Montana Black Bears, Nearly Get Mauled

  1. Oh come on, black bears really dangerous? Nearly get mauled? When is the outdoor media going to stop using this inflammatory language do describe every time a person sees a black bear. Wikipedia describes black bear attacks this way: “Attacks are for predatory, territorial, or protective reasons.[4]
    Most wilderness attacks have occurred when there was only one to two
    persons in the vicinity, and no attacks have ever been recorded against
    groups of six or more” Persons wishing to get a better understanding of black bears should look at the Bear Research Center in Ely, MN. If you are visiting a national park with bears, just give them plenty of room. If you get mauled by a Grizzly bear, or gored by a buffalo it is probably you fault.

    1. I agree with you, but only up to a point.
      Black bears are in fact responsible for more attacks, maulings, and deaths, that are grizzlies. But that is mostly because of them being more widely distributed and numerous. I’ve dealt with black bears in the high country and in Alaska several times and it’s important to know the protocols and their behavior. But the fact is that they are more likely to attack. They have also been known to snatch a baby or a small child when the opportunity presents itself.

      1. They also tend to view people as a food source and have been known to hunt and eat people. Brown/GBears are less likely to eat the victim. ALL large predators are dangerous. A Canadian folk singer was killed by Coyotes in a park in Nova Scotia.

  2. i have never seen so many stupid ass people in one place in my life! its bad to say but i really wish a few of them idiots would have been turned into a snack for the sow and her cubs! the dipshits on the right side werent even looking back to see where the bears were at as did the last photographer on the left.
    it truly amazes me that mother bear didnt start mauling some people and they have no idea how lucky they were! and the sad part is if someone would have gotten hurt people would cry out for the bears to be destroyed! they should all get a big fat fine for stupidity.

  3. Black bears are generally afraid of people, but you have two problems here; the cubs and the fact that the bear felt cornered on the bridge. You can tell by the way the bear was changing course that is was confused and about ready to act. Those idiots were about 5 seconds away from being ripped open. The bear likely would have attacked only 1 of them and only for a brief moment, but I have an igloo cooler with black bear teeth marks thru it that can attest to their jaw strength (try to stick a knife into an igloo…..good luck, you’ll break it).

  4. Hey outdoorhub reporters, where’s that story from a couple months ago, where that moron got predated and partially eaten by that BLACK BEAR (that has never attacked a group of people)? I believe it was in New Jersey. That bear was about 350 lbs, and alone, and came after a group of 8 idiots who thought that black bears were not dangerous. So idiots like john can try to get a grip. He seperated from the group and climbed a pile of rocks as if the bear was afraid of rocks. The bear was killed because it was aggressive to the Rangers as it tried to protect its carcass. A man john, (you jerk).

  5. hell, i think it was in the 70’s when i went through yellow stone. people were crazy around wild animals to get their picture taken next to it. ignorant stupid idiots. i guy walked up to a 6 point elk and stood while his picture was taken. the elk was laying in the grass. as far as the mauling well that mother was on a charge a couple times.if they had not retreated i believe she would have attack to protect her young.when you are mauled it does not matter whether you are the first or the 1000th the end will be the same. p.s. being anomalous i guess gives people they think the right to call people names because they have a different point of view is silly and ridiculous. i would hope you do not act like that in peoples faces. it really only makes that person’s comment and them look like an ass. discussion and the trading of thoughts will help everyone win. only give constructive criticism with explanations.

  6. This is somewhat hyped. Trust me if the sow was after one of these folks she would have had one. They just wanted to get off the bridge.

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