Just recalling that Yellowstone tourist who became internet famous after getting bluff charged by a pissed off grizzly at Yellowstone. It didn’t even really register to her as she watched the situation play out through the tiny screen of her cellphone. Listen folks, if your situational awareness goes to zero when you’re shooting video for your socials….don’t do it around apex predators.

After a video of her trying to photograph grizzly bears went viral, the woman was ultimately sentenced to four days in jail and banned from Yellowstone National Park for a year after being charged with disturbing wildlife at Roaring Mountain in the park while attempting to get a close-up picture of a grizzly bear and her cubs. She spent four days in custody, a year on unsupervised probation and faces up to $2,040 in fines and fees.

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Grizzly Safety in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is home to one of the largest and most significant populations of grizzly bears in the contiguous United States. While witnessing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat is a remarkable experience, it is crucial for visitors to prioritize grizzly safety to protect both themselves and the bears.

First and foremost, visitors must remember that grizzly bears are wild animals and should be treated with the utmost respect and caution. Maintaining a safe distance of at least 100 yards (91 meters) from these animals is essential to avoid triggering defensive behaviors. Using binoculars or spotting scopes to observe them from a distance is advisable.

Hiking in groups is another important safety measure. Larger groups tend to make more noise, which can alert bears to human presence and reduce the likelihood of surprise encounters. Additionally, carrying bear spray is strongly recommended for all hikers and campers. Knowing how to use it correctly and having it readily accessible can be a lifesaving deterrent in case of an aggressive bear encounter.

When camping, it’s essential to store food and scented items properly. Utilizing bear-resistant food containers or hanging food in designated bear-safe areas can prevent attracting bears to human-occupied spaces. Campers should also refrain from cooking and storing food in their tents.

Yellowstone National Park provides crucial education on grizzly safety through visitor centers, brochures, and park rangers. Familiarizing oneself with this information before exploring the park ensures a safer and more enjoyable experience for all, while also promoting the conservation of these magnificent creatures and their natural habitat.