Charging black bear in Yellowstone Park just misunderstood

A viral video of a supposed bear attack at Yellowstone National Park is not quite what it seems. As groups of people trot out of her way, a black bear mother and her cubs appear to be terrorizing the bystanders. But there’s more to the story.

Kerry Gunther, head of the Bear Management Department at Yellowstone Park, explains that the out-of-context video paints a picture that veers drastically from reality:

“…The bears, including a mom and her yearling cubs, took a wrong turn and ended up on the bridge along with the curious human onlookers. Their instinct was to get away from the people as quickly as possible, but the people got frightened and blocked her.”

Gunther was not present for the event, but is familiar with the situation. Due to the high traffic in the popular park, there are frequent “bear jams,” which happen when cars stop to watch a bear, and hold up traffic.

In this particular case, the confused mother led her cubs onto a bridge, so there was no other option but to move forward. You can see from the video that the powerful animal could have easily attacked any one of the sluggish nearby tourists, but was merely looking for an escape route.

Gunther reiterates that “The bear was not after people… Pretty much all the events [in the video] were influenced by human behaviour.”