In a recent video, hikers in Glacier National Park had an unexpected twist to their trip when they discovered a meandering bear was following them. The clip has since gone viral on social media, showing the group trying to outrun the beast.
As we transition from summer to fall, more than ever, hikers need to be “bear aware.” While encounters with bears are rare, as we enter into autumn, bears will become more active from September to October as they prepare for hibernation. As a result, people will start reporting more and more bear sightings.
Should you come across a bear, it’s essential to know the proper steps to stay safe.
Case in point, don’t do what the hikers in this clip did. TikTok user @nolanboerboom shot a video of his hiking group’s encounter with a bear in Glacier National Park. During the clip, a few people broke the most basic rule when you find yourself in the presence of a bear.
@nolanboerboom Did everything we weren’t supposed to do when seeing a bear #glaciernationalpark #montana #bear #bearaware #bearattack #survivor ♬ original sound – Nolan Boerboom
Thankfully, the bear didn’t seem too upset by the group. However, they should thank their lucky stars the bear was in a calm state, considering they made a crucial mistake: running from the bear. Although it might be natural to run from a predator, it’s actually the last thing you should do.
According to wildlife experts, if a bear is territorial, running away can make them think you’re some type of prey that they need to catch.
Group of hikers breaks one crucial rule during bear encounter in Glacier National Park
Instead of running, the best thing you can do is stand your ground and back away slowly. Additionally, try to make yourself look bigger, make loud noises, and use bear spray if necessary. In contrast, running away from the animal puts you and those around you in harm’s way. As the user @codyd_owns aptly wrote, “1 person runs, it turns into a game of survival of the fittest.”
In the comments section of the clip, some people noticed something odd about the bear’s activity. “What the heck is he doing above the tree line? Very unnatural! I wonder if humans have been feeding him. I sure hope not!” @sweethummer observed.
In addition, those with a darker sense of humor chimed in with a different type of advice: “Just remember you don’t have to outrun the bear, just the slowest person in your party.”
Some bears will store food or forage above the tree line. However, they typically stay in lower altitudes.
Yet, when hikers make the poor decision to feed bears, bears become more daring to try and approach us for food. In fact, some bears will even go out of their way to do so. While this group didn’t break this rule, it is still worth repeating not to feed the bears.