a bear and driver high five in traffic
RebecaElenaGB TikTok

Driver High Fives a Bear in a Misguided Wildlife Interaction


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When bears wander into traffic, not many people automatically try to give one a high five. However, that is exactly what one motorist did in a video that's gone viral. A cellphone clip captured a driver in another car high-fiving a bear from what looked like a semi-busy roadway. TikTok user Rebeca Elena Gh posted the video to her account, @ebecaelenagb. The video was captioned, "Chill day." But, the outcome could have easily been anything but "chill."

https://www.tiktok.com/@rebecaelenagb/video/7054995081513798918?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=7112471387620967978

In the video, the three bears are walking alongside the road, where there is admittedly a bit of a traffic jam. The bears are intrigued by the cars slowly crawling by, and one's curiosity gets the better of him. He pauses and props himself up on two legs. The bear tentatively reaches out to the driver, who reciprocates the action. But, the bear gets a little ahead of himself and stumbles back. However, his determination does not waver. He shuffles up to the driver's window and reaches out his paw, pausing just long enough for the driver to give him a high five.

The bear looks stunned to have touched a furless paw. He stares in bewilderment while the other bear seems to tattle on him to what could only have been their mother. Finally, high-fiving bear sits down on the roadway as the momma slowly walks up.

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The interaction received mixed reviews from the TikTok-verse, and for a good reason. Many viewers wished that something like this could have happened to them, while others said they would have done the same thing. The whole thing gave off some serious Winnie the Pooh vibes. While the encounter is understandably interesting, it could have gone wrong very quickly. The momma bear could have taken that as a threat, and reacted in a much more aggressive way!

Some of the other viewers focused on mom's reaction. One commented, "The other baby bear looked at mom like "mooooooooooooooooooom Jeff just touched a persoooooon."

Another said, "Mama bear was like... what did I tell you about talking to strangers." At the end of the clip, the bear seems to regret his current life choices.

But, it's not all fun and games. One viewer pointed out a harsh reality, "This is adorable, but it really put the bear and other people in danger."

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Another chimed in with, "While this is cute and makes you appreciate bears, it's actually not smart as it puts the bears in potential danger down the road (not literally)."

One of the thousands of commenters hit the nail on the head, writing, "You understand that when this bear approaches others, there is a good chance it will be killed."

Whether they are shot by someone scared and trying to defend themselves or euthanized, bears who become too used to human interaction do not live long.

Hank the Tank, a commonly seen black bear in Lake Tahoe, narrowly escaped euthanasia after DNA proved he wasn't the only bear breaking into residents' homes. A Colorado bear wasn't as lucky after being caught breaking into a Colorado Springs resident's home in June of 2020. That bear was euthanized. In 2021, 66 bears were euthanized in the state, and another 51 were relocated. Most of them were trying to break into trashcans and garages or get to other food sources.

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READ MORE: Curious Bears Figure Out SUV Door and Break In

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