Officials: Do Not Push Friends Down When Running From Bears

John Thomas @capturelight / UnSplash

If you’ve ever wondered what in the world you should be doing if you come across a bear in the woods…the National Park Service is here to let you know. And they’ve included a laundry list of “Do’s & Don’t’s.”

In a fresh post from the NPS on Facebook, they explain some of the most common misconceptions about dealing with bears…and others that might result in you or a companion becoming the bear’s next snack.

  • Do not immediately drop to the ground and ‘play dead.’ Bears can sense overacting.
  • Do not run, shout, or make sudden movements.
  • Do not run up and push the bear and do not push a slower friend down…even if you feel the friendship has run its course.⁣
  • Running may trigger a chase response in the bear and you can’t outrun a bear. Bears in Yellowstone chase down elk calves all the time. You do not want to look like a slow elk calf. (Apologies to the elk calf.)⁣
  • Running to a tree or frantically climbing a tree may provoke a bear to chase you. If the friend you pushed down somehow made it up a tree and is now extending you a hand, there’s a good chance you’re not getting up that tree. Karma’s a bear. ⁣

Humorous bits aside, the NPS does actually issue some good advice here – you literally cannot outrun a bear, no matter how fast you think you are.

Also, they added in some good pointers for how to fend off a bear, diffuse the encounter, and others.

See their full post below along with their link to real bear safety.