WATCH: Cades Cove Visitor Nearly Mauled by Mamma Bear After Confronting Cubs
OutdoorHub Reporters 07.15.19
A video surfaced over the weekend showing a Cades Cove visitor getting dangerously close to a mamma bear and her three cubs, and nearly being mauled to death.
According to WVLT, onlooker Paige Marple took out her phone and started recording when she noticed the mother bear and her cubs trailing close behind her. Marple apparently stayed in the truck with her boyfriend and observed from a distance, but believe it or not, someone thought it would be a good idea to confront the bears.
You can hear somebody say “That’s a bad idea,” and then a man is seen walking towards the bears with his hand stretched out making tsk tsk tsk sounds.
The cubs spot the man and instinctively avoid him, so he runs to cut them off and then tries to order mamma bear back where she came from. This appears to be the final straw, as she bluff charges the man sending him running with his tail between his legs.
“It was pretty intense for a second because I just knew he was going to end up in a body bag,” Marple reportedly said.
Though he ultimately didn’t end up in a body bag – at least this time – he also doesn’t appear to learn his lesson either. The video catches him saying “Did you see that?” following the encounter, and he almost appears giddy while he watches the bears walk away.
Marple pointed out, it was at this point the crowd began to lob obscenities at the man, telling him he was an idiot among other insults.
“There were people on the other side telling him he was an idiot,” Marple said. “I wasn’t going to interfere. You can’t stop stupidity.”
In response to the video, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park issued a reminder to keep your distance around bears in the park. In a statement, the park says, “help us best protect bears in the park, it is critical that people act responsibly during their visit. Bears should never be fed or approached. We work hard to keep bears wild in a space shared with 11.4 million people. We need each visitor to do their part by always staying at least 50 yards back from bears and properly disposing of food waste – for their safety and that of the bears.”
Here’s the video: