U.S. Park Rangers are currently searching for the “unidentified woman” who walked straight for the grizzly bears, and plan to press charges once she is identified.
Previously this May, we touched on this startling footage of a close call in Yellowstone National Park. Within, an unidentified woman (who absolutely no one will be surprised by if she is named Karen) waltzes straight for a grizzly bear sow and her cubs to take herself a photo.
Unbeknownst to her, however, a third party was filming the entire encounter. Said third party video comes courtesy of Darcie Addington, a Yellowstone tourist who – as per park guidelines – stayed put in her vehicle. But not “Karen,” no. Instead, “Karen” felt herself invincible on May 10. And now, thanks to Addington’s footage, the national park is seeking charges once “Karen” is identified.
“The unidentified woman is described as white, mid 30’s, brown hair, and wearing black clothing. If you were around Roaring Mountain on May 10, 2021 at 4:45PM, or you have information that could help, please contact NPS Investigative Services Branch,” Yellowstone posts to their Facebook page this week.
Watch the Initial Grizzly Bear Encounter
The initial incident, which you can view below, occurred May 10 at around 4:45 p.m. near Roaring Mountain. Currently, U.S. Park Rangers are taking on the investigation, as per Yellowstone regulations that state tourists must stay a minimum of 100 yards from bears and wolves “whenever possible.”
Per these same rules, tourists who are caught acting recklessly around park wildlife can and will be cited.
Disappointment and snark aside – this is all for our own safety! This woman was a split-second away from this grizzly bear mother making the lethal decision to protect her cubs:
Park Regulations Save Lives
Preaching should never be the go-to for a wildlife tech, but as both an author & wildlife technician who’s spent years studying and photographing bears – alongside writing of bear attacks, maulings, and deaths on a weekly basis – abiding by park regulations can and will save your life.
Grizzly attacks are rare, but unfortunately people are mauled to death and/or eaten by bears every single year. These apex predators are fiercely territorial, and no matter how much of an Outsider one is – the great outdoors will always be their turf. It’s a wild, grizzly world out there.
At Yellowstone National Park, this is doubly true. The National Park Service estimated 728 grizzlies called Yellowstone home in 2019. That number is likely to have increased since, too. In short: Yellowstone is bear country, through and through.
So when park regulations ask visitors to keep at least a 100-yard distance, it’s not a bluff! It is to keep the bears wild and unhabituated to humans, yes – but above all – it’s to keep us, the visitors, alive.
And for those curious to the bear’s behavior, Yellowstone’s website poignantly cites: “Don’t approach animals. If it changes its behavior because of your presence, you’re too close. Sure they may seem calm, tame even, but their disposition is toddler-like in that it can change in a second.”
Even experts, like this late Yellowstone trail guide, cannot be prepared at all times. So as Yellowstone concludes of the subject: “Always obey instructions given by park staff.”