Believe it or not, bears are not the fun-loving, porkpie-hat-wearing animals that innocently plot to steal your picnic baskets. Okay, they’re definitely cute and cuddly looking, but they will also kill you if given the chance—especially if you try to take selfies with them.
Officials at Waterton Canyon in Denver could think of only one remedy to the rampant bear-selfie problem: closing the canyon for the foreseeable future.
Apparently, a stunning number of tourists have turn their backs to the foraging beasts while lining up the perfect shot, some of them reportedly getting as close as 10 feet to the creatures.
“It’s a poor choice from our perspective A.) to get that close to wildlife and B.) to turn your back, particularly on bears,” Matt Robbins, a Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman, told the ABC station 7NEWS Denver.
After looking over the National Park Service’s tips for bear encounters, we have determined that it is definitely inadvisable to practice such selfies. If you encounter a bear on your campgrounds, remember: Put down the phone. Stand up as big as you can and yell, “Hey! Go away, bear! This area does not belong to you anymore. You lost it ages ago!” The bear will understand and run off.*
Alternately, if you come across a bear in the wild, just leave your phone in your pocket. Under no circumstances should you turn your back to the animal. Instead, slowly walk away. You will most likely remember seeing this animal for the rest of your life. You can text your buddies in Duluth about this when you get to safety. They will believe you, trust us. No one makes up bear encounters.
Although bear selfies are an oddly widespread issue, searching Instagram‘s #bearselfie hashtag didn’t turn up any dangerous-looking bear content.
This dude, for example, seems to be at a safe distance.
And the rest are human bears, just looking sharp, hairy, and sexy.
*Please don’t take the Daily Dot’s advice. Instead, visit the actual NPS website.