Tourist Attempts to Record Video With Bear, Get Rude Awakening

It’s crucial to remember that bears usually flee an area when they detect human presence. However, if they feel endangered, they will fight back without hesitation. This potential danger should always be at the forefront of our minds when in bear territory. 

Just recently, footage showed a guy who was driving and pulled over to take a closer look at a bear along the side of the road. The man ventured a bit too close, causing the bear to scurry under the guardrail, sending the driver crashing backward before the footage ended. 

Recent incidents show that people distracting and approaching bears is an issue globally.

Last week, a photographer lost $20,000 because he took his time photographing a grizzly bear. Tom Mangelson slowed down to capture a photograph of a wounded grizzly bear as he was driving through Grand Teton National Park. According to the National Park Service (NPS), Mangelson was accused of driving so slowly that other automobiles were delayed behind him. He looped around four times, annoying the bear and everyone else. 

He said he would appeal the ruling. He was initially fined $150 but spent $20,000 trying to avoid paying the small fine. (It is against the law to drive so slowly that you impede traffic.)

The National Park Service had satisfied its burden of proof to convict Mangelsen. It was “clear” from the footage and witness accounts that the renowned photographer visited the scene of the accident where Grizzly 610 was hurt.

If a court feels the need to send a message, anyone convicted of approaching bears may be sentenced to prison. At Yellowstone National Park in 2021, a female visitor was given a four-day prison term for interfering with a mother grizzly bear and her pups. 

25-year-old Illinois resident Samantha Dehring pleaded guilty to willfully remaining, approaching, and photographing wildlife within 100 yards. She was fined $1,000, ordered to pay an additional $1,000 in community service to the Yellowstone Forever Wildlife Protection Fund, $30 for court processing, $10 for assessment, and given a year of unsupervised probation and four days in jail. 

Yellowstone National Park likewise banned Dehring for a year.