A mother black bear and her three cubs unexpectedly appeared on a bridge in Yellowstone where sightseers had stopped to take pictures. Video from the bridge captured the incident, which went viral online.
Spring is peak tourist time in Yellowstone National Park, but the
warmer weather is also favored by black bears. Last week at
Yellowstone, tourists and bears collided on a bridge, when a
mother bear and her three cubs appeared as tourists had stopped
to take advantage of the view.
Video from the event opens by showing the trotting black bears
following behind a group of five tourists who are walking swiftly
away and towards the camera.
“Keep going!” shouts a voice off-camera.
As the tourists start to walk faster and to run, the view widens
and at least a dozen more tourists can be seen all moving away
from the bears. The off-camera voice says again, “Keep going!
Several tourists think they are far enough away to stop and take
photographs, but at that moment the mother bear darts forward,
leaving her three cubs some distance behind. Seeming terrified,
the mother bear charges towards one family and is then out of the
Another voice off screen says, “Watch out little girl!”
Moments later, she is back herding her cubs together.
The tourists did make the right defensive moves, which are to
quickly move away from the bears without engaging. Wildlife
expert say that is keeping a distance is the best defense, and
Yellowstone regulations tell visitors to stay at least 100 yards
from the bears at all times.
Park officials told ABC News that sightseers and the family
of bears parted ways without any attacks or aggression, but they
said the run-in is an example of the dangers in the national
park, especially with 3.5 million visitors each year.
“A mother bear with cubs is not something you want to try and
get too near to at all,” Jack Hanna, director emeritus of
the Columbus Zoo, told ABC News.
“These bears, they wake up with warmer weather. They’re
thirsty and hungry, and they come out. This is their time of
In a related story, a family visiting Yellowstone Park last year
had a less stressful encounter with a grizzly bear. From the safe
confines of the car, a grizzly bear is seen, on video, stopping
by a pole and suddenly rearing up on its hind legs to start
scratching its back. Since it’s not against a tree, the whole
scenario looks like a pole dance. The video capturing the
incident also catches the children’s laughter and delight.