WATCH: Katmai National Park Tourists Wade Into Water To Take Selfies With Feeding Grizzly Bears

by Sean Griffin

In video footage from 2018, tourists at Katmai National Park in Alaska waded into water to take selfies with feeding grizzly bears, certainly putting themselves in harm’s way.

At least six grizzlies stand in the river, trying to catch any fish they spot in the rushing water. One man enters the camera frame, wading in the water and taking a video of the bears with his phone. The man progressively wades closer to the bears. Fortunately, the bears chose not to attack the man. Bears remain notorious for becoming quickly agitated when it comes to food, and they could have perceived the human as encroaching on their right to a meal.

It wasn’t all fun and games, however.

David Engelman, Ronald Engelman II, and Steven Thomas all abandoned the viewing platform and waded into the falls. All three faced charges. Dave Engelman was the one caught on the live webcam video.

All three men were sentenced by a Federal judge, according to KTOO. David and Ronald Engleman received sentences of 7 days in prison with $3,000 fines each. Thomas received a sentence of 10 days and a $3,000 fine.

Apparently, the men were drunk, too. Magistrate Judge Matthew Scoble described their actions as: “drunken capering, and a slap in the face to those who were there.”

Away From Katmai National Park at Yellowstone National Park, Tourists Engage in Similar Reckless Activity

However, away from Katmai National Park, tourists continue doing similar jaw-dropping things around feeding bears. In an unbelievable video, a grizzly bear completely dismantles an elk carcass in front of a crowd of spectators at the Grand Teton National Park. The bear tears at the carcass in the grass off the side of a road where a line of cars are parked. In the video, the beast seems undeterred by the crowd gathered.

The Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone posted the shocking video. They captioned the post explaining that the tourists had put themselves in harm’s way. They explained that grizzlies are incredibly protective of their food, and it could’ve pounced on one of the tourists had it felt threatened. The account combines the words “tourists” and “morons” to post videos of dumb visitors at Yellowstone and other national parks.

“Some might think that this griz would be too occupied to care about the tourons, but this is probably one of the most dangerous positions to be in,” the account wrote. “Grizzly Bears become very protective when it comes to their food, the griz might think that these ppl are a threat and it would take him literally seconds to reach one of these tourons!😳”

“Obviously no ranger was present, and those children being there and so close just gives me massive amounts of anxiety! There is a reason you should keep 100 yards or more from bears, especially Grizzlies.”