WATCH: Girl Risks Her Life Just to Take a Selfie with Huge Bear

by Lauren Boisvert

A woman in Romania risked her life for a photograph and was almost turned into bear food in the process. Thankfully, this story doesn’t turn out worse. But, this should definitely serve as a lesson for this woman not to mess with bears.

In the video, taken by another person on the highway, the woman gets out of her car and approaches the bear sitting on the side of the road. While it seems like people have pulled over to look at the animal and take photos, no one else is out of their car except this woman. She approaches the bear, holding out her hand like she has food. Naturally, it lunges at her, and she jumps and runs away at just the right moment.

But, she puts herself in additional danger by running into the middle of the highway. I suppose it’s either get eaten by a bear or hit by a car in this case. Either way, this is a classic example of people getting too cocky with wildlife. Some people see these animals in zoos and on TV and assume that they’re all like that. As if a bear in captivity is anything close to a wild bear. And even then, those in captivity and in protected areas still have instincts. The bears in National Parks may be used to seeing humans, but they’re definitely still wild. There’s no “magic touch” that will make a wild bear behave.

Bear Safety Tips and Why Not Getting Arrogant Around Wildlife is So Important

Personally, I’m all about bear safety, even though I don’t live in a place particularly known for them (please talk to me about alligators, though). Even so, it’s important to know what to do during a bear encounter, because you just never know. You may take a spontaneous trip to Montana one day and decide to hike the difficult back-woods trails. You may wander into grizzly country and that’s where my safety lessons will definitely pay off. Well, maybe not mine in particular, but any bear safety lessons at all will come in handy. Remember, we’re in their space and they should be respected.

First, the don’ts: never turn your back or run from a bear. That incites their prey drive and makes you look like something good to eat. Don’t make any sudden loud, high-pitched noise if the animal is near you. If it doesn’t see you initially, this could surprise the bear. If you find yourself in an encounter, it’s important not to drop your backpack or any gear you have. Don’t try and distract the bear by throwing food at it, as this will just make it a bigger problem for you and others.

Second, the do’s: to avoid an encounter, first be courteous of a bear’s space. If you’re in a National Park and want to see a bear, make sure you stay at least 100 yards away and stay quiet so as not to surprise the animal. If you’re on a trail and have an encounter, definitely pick up any children in your group immediately. Talk calmly to it if it has seen you, so it knows you’re not prey. It’s most important to stay calm.

The National Park Service has great resources for wildlife safety, and we here at Outsider have guides for parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Zion, among others. Read up, get educated, and most of all, please don’t try and take a selfie with a bear.