JACKSON, Wyo. — The bears are awake, and encounters have already begun this spring. A runner in Grand Teton National Park today shared a video of a run-in with a cinnamon black bear.
Teton Valley resident Evan Matthews uploaded a video on YouTube of a black bear that was quite curious of him while he was out for a run in the park.
“I went to go check out the Death Canyon road yesterday because I’m planning to ski Albright Peak tomorrow and was wanting to know what the approach would be like,” Matthews said. I decided to go for a little run back to where the gravel section starts, and just happened to have put my bear spray in my running vest this week. About half a mile back I saw some movement in the trees to my left and realized there was a black bear staring right at me about 30 yards away.”
According to experts, bears are the most dangerous when they’re either curious, or they feel threatened. In this case, it appears that the black bear was curious of the runner.
“He didn’t seem agitated (yet) so I got my camera out to take a little video while I backed away,” said Matthews. “A couple of seconds after I started recording he advanced on me, not really at a charge but just a fast walk so I pulled out my bear spray and started shouting (while still backing up). Luckily the little guy never got close enough to have to use it, but he did follow me all the way back to my car about 75 yards behind me the whole way, then finally turned and ran off the road back into the trees. First bear sighting of the season for me! Guess I’ll find out what the rest of the road looks like tomorrow.”
The encounter serves as a good reminder to remember bear spray when recreating in areas where they frequent. Visit the National Park Service website for more pointers on staying safe in bear country.