HomeOutdoorsNewsNational Park Service’s Savage Tweet About Bears and That ‘Slower Friend’ Melts Twitter

National Park Service’s Savage Tweet About Bears and That ‘Slower Friend’ Melts Twitter

by Jon D. B.
brown bear running
Brown Bear, Ursos arctos, running up coastal creek in pursuit of salmon Katmai, Alaska, USA. (Photo by: David Tipling/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

With 8.4 million views and counting, the National Park Service’s latest tweet bolsters their newfound Twitter dominance.

If you’ve been following NPS for a while, you’ll certainly have noticed a change (to say the least) in their social media. Specifically, whoever runs the main accounts for our beloved national parks is a Twitter master. It’s made for some of the past year’s best tweets, with today’s being no exception:

“If you come across a bear, never push a slower friend down… Even if you feel the friendship has run its course,” NPS tweeted early this morning.

With this update on a classic line, the National Park Service tweet once again proves they’re savvy enough to evolve with the times. As their light-hearted Twitter expose continues, it effortlessly morphs into informative (and imperative) information:

“If not friend, why friend shaped? What about your other friend? Seeing a bear in the wild is a special treat for any visitor to a national park. While it is an exciting moment, it is important to remember that bears in national parks are wild and can be dangerous.”

Pretty genius, right? With this strategy, millions more are reading important National Park Service information. And as someone with a deep relationship with NPS and our parks, this makes me incredibly happy. As do the best responses to this pitch-perfect tweet.

Twitter Has a Heyday with National Park Service’s Latest

Sunjeev Bery replies “Hello from Chattahoochee–Oconee National Forest in Georgia. I just found a red duffel bag full of strange packaged ‘bricks’ wrapped in brown paper. And now this weird bear is giving me the side eye. What should I do?”

This, of course, is a reference to the recent Cocaine Bear movie that is based on a very real story.

Others, like Doug Jones, ask “What if you’re the slower friend?”

“Check in on the friendship before you head to the woods,” the National Park Service replies.

“Okay, but what if the bear looks really hungry? Don’t they deserve a lil snack as a treat?” Jeff Brown follows.

“Do you consider yourself the faster or slower of the two friends?” NPS asks. Classic.

In Bear Country, Safety is Paramount

In their main thread, NPS bolsters their message behind the sarcasm. “When spring arrives and the snow begins to melt, many bears become more active,” they tweet with a link to their main bear safety page. Within, the biggest takeaway is this:

“Although rare, attacks on humans have occurred, inflicting serious injuries and death. Each bear and each experience is unique; there is no single strategy that will work in all situations and that guarantees safety. Most bear encounters end without injury. Following some basic guidelines may help to lessen the threat of danger,” NPS offers.

For more on general bear safety from the National Park Service, click here.

For survival information specific to black bears, see our Surviving a Black Bear: How to Prevent Encounters and Deter an Attack next.

And for expert BearWise information, see our National Parks Journal: How to Be BearWise with Great Smoky Mountains’ Lead Wildlife Biologist.