Wild animals eating is something so natural, it can be a sight to witness. But when it comes to a grizzly bear devouring its next meal, most people have the good sense to watch from afar—like as far away as possible.
However, that logic can't be found in everyone: A video that surfaced over the weekend showed a handful of over-eager visitors to Grand Teton National Park, who took their lives into their own hands as they took a front-row seat to watch a grizzly getting ready to dive in on an elk carcass. The crowd, which included small children, stood less than 50 feet away furiously snapping pictures and capturing video, throwing caution and good sense to the wind at the sheer amazement of the large animal and his prey.
This move could've easily gotten one of them killed.
The foolish event was shared to the Instagram page Touronsofyellowstone, where viewers can see the grizzly bear dragging an elk off the side of the road while people and their cars form a wall along the road. The park visitors exit their cars, and a mom and her kids stand less than 50 feet from the bear about to enjoy his meal.
One of the kids even starts to run up toward the bear, before mom grabs her arm, forcing her stand next to her brother.
Satisfied with where he pulled the elk to, the bear plops down to dinner—only to realize that he has quite an audience. It's enough of a sight that he stops messing around with the elk and looks out, mouth open, nosing the air at the people in front of him.
He must have been tired from the elk chase or just not interested in human meat, so after surveying his fan club, he dives into the elk. Tourons of Yellowstone is famous for pointing out dangerous interactions between park visitors and wildlife, but this one takes the cake. Coming this close to a feeding Grizzly bear, with children in tow, is beyond shocking.
The video originally came from Instagram user Yellowstone_enthusiast, who had plenty to say about it: "Some might think that this griz would be too occupied to care about the roars, but this is probably one of the most dangerous positions to be in," they wrote in the caption. "Grizzly bears become very protective when it comes to their food, the griz might think that these people are a threat and it would take him literally seconds to reach one of these tourons!"
They continued, "Obviously no ranger was present, and those children being there and so close just gives me massive anxiety! There is a reason you should keep 100 yards or more from bears, especially Grizzlies."
According to the National Park Service, male grizzlies weigh between 200-700 pounds and are 1.5 to two times larger than a black bear. They have massive, curved claws that can tear through skin, and they can run up to 40 mph. These huge creatures have no problem swimming or running up and down hills, proving they are not to be trifled with.
Thankfully, nothing happened to anyone viewing the grizzly's meal, but it was a nail-biting wildlife interaction nonetheless. Just because a grizzly bear is enjoying a meal doesn't mean you should enter its bubble, much less let your children anywhere near it. Grizzly bears are unpredictable and should be given at least 100 yards of space. Much like other wild animals, they can be fiercely protective of their food. That means they could perceive anyone getting too close, or running toward them, as a threat—including children.
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