It seems like a local bear in Alaska wanted to make sure the town was still thinking about them.
At least, that’s what it looks like as it struts by only a few feet away from a group of people.
Cara Siciliano recently shared a viral video of a grizzly in Alaska’s Katmai National Park. A group of her and other tourists watch as the animal passes in front of them. You can hear a man anxiously repeating “Hey bear” and “Hey, big boy” several times throughout the course of the video.
He’s talking calmly as the grizzly continues to stroll aimlessly past them.
Suddenly, the bear stops in front of an informational sign at the nature reserve, pauses, then turns back around and walks in the same direction as before. It was almost like the grizzly was practicing its model walk. The sign was even warning people that there are recent sightings in the area. It was a perfect placement after all.
According to Daily Mail, the footage was from July 14. Siciliano then eventually shared the footage on TikTok, where it has been seen an astounding 11.3 million times. Katmai National Park is no stranger to brown bears.
The Alaskan wonderland features Brooks Falls, which is a hot spot for these creatures to catch salmon and relax.
The man in the video is the seaplane captain that flew the group of tourists into the area. He was talking to the bear in a calm and monotone voice because its the advice he had been given in the past regarding bear encounters. However, there are few encounters that are anything like this one.
Katmai National Park and Bears
According to NPS, Katmai is actually one of the most infamous brown bear viewing destinations in the world. There are an estimated 2,200 of these animals in the park. “As many bear populations around the world decline, Katmai provides some of the few remaining unaltered habitats for these amazing creatures. At Katmai, scientists are able to study bears in their natural habitat, visitors are able to enjoy unparalleled viewing opportunities, and the bears are able to continue their life cycle largely undisturbed,” NPS notes.
The area also has a famous bear — Bear 480 Otis. He is one of the oldest in that area and is thought to be around 25 years old. He was missing for a bit this year but recently made his grand entry.
While the area is quite the bear territory, that means it’s also important to stay diligent and knowledgeable about what to do when confronted by wildlife.
The man in the video did the right thing. The best approach when in the midst of a bear showdown is to talk calmly so the bear knows you’re a human and to remain still. It’s incredibly important to remain calm, although that can be hard. Running is never a good idea as the animal will then think you’re prey.
Instead, make yourself look as large as possible, pick up any small children, and be sure to stick to a group.
One person on the original video notes, “Remember, you don’t have to outrun the bear. You just need to be able to outrun your friends.” Although it is somewhat morbidly accurate, it’s still not the best course of action ever.