Friday, October 31, 2014

Bear necessities: U.S. Forest Service warns tourists to stop taking bear selfies

It doesn't sound like something anyone should have to tell people—especially if you've seen the documentary "Grizzly Man"—but the U.S. Forest Service issued a press release last week warning visitors to Taylor Creek Visitor Center in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., to not get too cozy with the park's bears. It seems the new fad at state and national parks is bear selfies, posing safety risks for both humans and bears. (Instagram photo: A black-bear selfie from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park)

"Black bears tend to swarm Taylor Creek this time of year thanks to an annual run of kokanee salmon, according to Mother Nature Network," Jacque Wilson reports for CNN. "And Taylor Creek staff say they are 'routinely' seeing people getting friendly with the animals in an effort to update their Instagram feed. If park visitors continue to ignore instructions and venture too close to the bears to take photos and videos, Taylor Creek may be closed to the public, the Forest Service said."

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