Tense Moments as Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Charges Ranger
Video footage has surfaced showing a Yellowstone National Park ranger firing projectiles at a grizzly bear after the bruin had charged the officer as he was outside his vehicle attempting to control traffic.
NOTE: this article was originally published to USAToday.com on June 1, 2021. It was written by Pete Thomas.
The footage, uploaded to Youtube by a user named Jaydog R, was captured the same day a grizzly bear mauled a hiker near Mammoth Hot Springs in the northern portion of the park.
In the footage, the ranger is surprised by the male bear’s sudden charge and takes cover behind his truck and fires what presumably are rubber bullets at the bear.
The bear flees into the forest and is discouraged from reemerging by the ranger, now igniting louder explosive devices.
Park headquarters was closed Monday night and had not responded to an inquiry about the encounter at the time of this post. But photographer Deby Dixon told For The Win Outdoors that the footage was captured Friday evening south of Roaring Mountain, north of the Norris Geyser Basin.
Dixon, who said she obtained her information from a Yellowstone bear manager, stated Monday night on Facebook:
“This is why visitors should maintain their distance from the bears. This guy meant business!
“This boar had been following a [sow] around all day, in Yellowstone, and was reported to have charged about 6 cars throughout the day when people blocked the bear’s path.
“Apparently, the sow would cross the road and then people would pull their car up in front of the boar to get photos, blocking him from reuniting with his girlfriend. As you can see, getting between a grizzly and what he wants can be bad news.”
Yellowstone is packed with tourists as grizzly bears are at lower elevations, fresh out of hibernation, trying to feed in meadows and maneuver across roads that are sometimes lined with automobiles.
Park regulations state that tourists should give all animals space and stay at least 100 yards from bears and wolves, especially when outside their vehicles.
Dixon added: “Even after this boar charged the ranger, several visitors and photographers were standing along the road, watching the sow leave, despite not knowing where the boar had gone.”