VIDEO: Yellowstone Grizzly Stands Up, Peers Into Car
November 23, 2020
One family nearly got more than they bargained for when they had a genuine, up-close-and-personal Yellowstone National Park grizzly bear encounter right in the comfort of their own car.
The family seem to have stopped by the side of the road to observe grizzly bears when one of them approached the car. The bear stands up and rests his paws against the hood of the car, staring intently inside. According to the family, there was an open bag of beef jerky in the car -- maybe that's what he's after.
The family's laughter and delight slowly turns to fear. One of the little girls in the car says she wants the bear to go away, and someone suggests honking the horn. Dad, perhaps wisely, tells them not to honk. Don't want to get the bear angry!
At several points the bear has his paw on the windshield, showing what a large and powerful animal this really is. "Look at the claws!" someone says. A child asks "Can it break the window?" and an adult replies, uncertainly, "I hope not."
The encounter recalls earlier decades in the Park, when tourists feeding and interacting with the bears was winked at if not condoned by authorities. When bears lose their fear of humans, the risk of a bear encounter ending in bloodshed -- for human or bear -- is much more elevated.
The family did the right thing by not offering the hungry bear any of their beef jerky and, by extension, rewarding the animal for interacting with humans. Humans and bears should have a healthy fear for one another; that little girl has the right idea.