U.S. Tourists Continue to do Dumb Things with Animals

Last week I shared a story about a man who was arrested for taunting a bison in Yellowstone National Park, which is only one of a number of disturbing stories that we’ve seen in recent years with travelers interacting poorly with animals.

Case in point, earlier this week another man was spotted trying to take a selfie with Alaskan brown bears by wading out into the water while the creatures fished nearby. You can see this person in the video below, which was captured by the live “bear cam” at Katmai National Park.

The incident apparently took place in the early evening on August 9 as viewers watched the livestream video over the Internet. The man caught on camera was just one of three people who reportedly slipped past an emergency exit on a bear viewing platform in order to get closer to the creatures. Rangers at the park immediately started receiving notifications about the trio’s actions from viewers of the camera and those on site at the time.

Two of the individuals are Alaska residents while the other was a visitor to the state. All three now face criminal charges for coming within 50 feet (15 meters) of the bears, which is illegal in the state of Alaska. It is unclear which of the three is the man in the video. It is also unclear whether or not the individuals had been drinking, but they were found at a bar after the incident took place.

I’m not sure why there has been such a rise in these kinds of activities in recent years, but these individuals have certainly gotten lucky so far. There have been a few reports of bison trampling people who have gotten too close to them in Yellowstone, but fortunately most of the time this has resulted in fairly minor injuries.

I’m not sure whether or not it’s going to take an actual death to get them to realize the danger they face, but these types of actions are scary for sure. I guess not everyone who goes to the national parks and other outdoor spaces have the healthy respect for nature that they should.

Kraig Becker