AP NEWS

See a bear? HONK

May 15, 2019

See a bear? Put the phone down and hit the horn. Yellowstone National Park is encouraging motorists to scare away bears that get too close.

As the summer visitation season looms, the park is telling visitors to honk and (carefully) drive away if a bear approaches or touches their car.

Bears in the park have a history of doing so. On May 11, a black bear in the Tower-Roosevelt area put its paws on vehicles. In May of 2018, a black bear previously fed by people in the Mammoth Hot Springs area approached a car, put its paws on a door and looked into the vehicle’s windows. A grizzly near Yellowstone Lake went up to a car and played with its antenna.

While this behavior may appear cute to tourists wanting photos, it’s dangerous. Bears that grow accustomed to people and view humans as a food source can become aggressive and have to be relocated from the park or killed.

That’s why visitors should also never feed bears, never leave their backpacks or bags containing food unattended and keep a clean camp.