After seeing a video shot by bystanders at Yellowstone National Park, Deby Dixon, a wildlife photographer, writer, and advocate for the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, sought to draw attention to a worrying trend. Although many have responded with delight, calling the film one of the strangest locations on the globe, Deby had a different perspective.
This is why tourists should keep a safe distance from bears. This guy was serious! Deby issued a warning on her Facebook page, “Deby’s Wild World,” after sharing the horrifying image of a Yellowstone park ranger battling a charging grizzly bear. To make matters worse, the violent male bear was said to have attacked a hiker in another section of the park the same day.
Deby contextualizes the circumstances in the video by referring to the male bear as a boar and stating that this boar had been following a girl about all day in Yellowstone, and was claimed to have charged roughly 6 automobiles throughout the day when people impeded the creature’s route. The “girl” Deby seems to be referring to was most likely a female bear, commonly known as a sow.
Apparently, the sow would cross the road, and then people would drive up in front of the boar to take photographs, preventing him from rejoining with his sweetheart, Deby said. As one can see, stepping between a grizzly and what he wants may be terrible news, she continued, and the heart-pounding video demonstrates precisely what she implies.
The unidentified park ranger was outside his truck, trying to control traffic, when he was abruptly rushed by an angry male grizzly bear, which looked to have been hobbling on its front leg, which might justify its violent behavior, according to the clip.
The rushing bear appears to catch the ranger off guard, but he is able to flee to safety, hiding behind his truck bed and firing rubber bullets in self-defense to ward off the animal. After the bear’s retreat into the woods, the ranger is said to have used explosive devices — likely “bird bombs”—to drive the animal farther away with the loud noise.
Although many may believe that all’s well that ends well, Deby Dixon pointed out that this was not the case in this instance. Rather, she said, even after this boar assaulted the ranger, numerous people and photographers were lingering along the road, watching the sow go, regardless of not knowing where the boar had gone, after consulting with a Yellowstone bear manager about the matter.
This is concerning since the Yellowstone National Park Service gives several recommendations for bear safety, including encouraging visitors to stay at least 100 yards (93 m) away from bears at all times and never approach a bear to snap a picture. This is particularly crucial if the visitor is unable to safely return to their car in a timely manner, since a bear is more than capable of running you down quickly if he so desires. Never turn one’s back on a bear or flee from one. There are other more important safety precautions to take:
If you are in your automobile and are approached by a bear, blow your horn and drive away to discourage this behavior, according to the guidelines. Moreover, the National Park Service warns tourists not to “feed bears,” since bears that become reliant on human food may turn violent toward humans and must be killed. Additional safety considerations include knowing the best procedures before hiking or camping in bear areas and what to do if you meet a bear, as well as about bear spray, a very powerful, non-lethal bear deterrent.
Although the National Park Service notes that more people have died by drowning or thermal burns from hot springs than by aggressive bears, it also warns that there is an average of one bear attack per year in Yellowstone, and that three people were killed by bears inside the park in separate incidents in 2011 and 2015. Simply put, it is better to be cautious than very, very sorry.