It’s not uncommon for high school track and cross country meets to see delays due to various weather events. However, what is unusual is having a meet interrupted by three passing bears. The clip below sees the moment one Colorado high school’s cross country meet met some unexpected participants, with a family of bears darting across the course. Check it out.
According to Out There Colorado, the bears were caught on video during the Colorado High School Activities Association’s (CHSAA) annual 5A boys cross country state championship. The event, held on Saturday, saw competitors from across Colorado come to participate. It was in the middle of the cross country race that the family of bears went sprinting across the course.
Per the outlet, Kevin Vaughan, a 9News reporter, captured the video above. Fortunately for the racers, the bears simply passed through the meet instead of choosing to hang aorund. Still, it could have proven to be a dangerous situation. In the background of the clip, we can see one runner come uncomfortably close to the bears. As most people know, when threatened, mother bears can become incredibly defensive and territorial. It can even lead them to lash out at humans that come near their cubs.
The news outlet states that if you ever come across a bear while outdoors, you should stand your ground. Avoid the urge to run. Running could potentially trigger a predatory response. In addition, we encourage folks to make lots of noise if they encounter a black bear as a way to potentially scare them off.
Feeding Black Bears Force Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Close Various Locations
There was no way officials at the Colorado cross country meet this past weekend could have known a family of black bears was going to interrupt their event. On the other hand, though, officials at Great Smoky Mountains National Park are being extremely proactive regarding black bears. They recently closed certain locations throughout the park as these big, furry bruins stock up on acorns and grapes ahead of the winter season.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced the closures on Wednesday. For now, the Gatlinburg Trail between Gatlinburg, Tennessee and the Sugarlands Visitors Center will remain closed. Officials also closed the Twin Creeks Trail between Gatlinburg and the Twin Creeks Science and Education Center.
While potentially inconvenient for some park visitors, the trail closures are necessary. Not only do they prevent humans from getting close to the park bears like they did at the cross country meet this past weekend, but it also allows the animals to feed uninterrupted.
Officials offered insight into their decision about the park closures.
“Generally bears are solitary, however, during the fall, several bears may be seen feeding in close proximity,” a statement read. “They will often feed for more than 12 hours a day and can be concentrated in areas where abundant food sources are found. During this time period, normally wary bears may act aggressively to defend these areas.”