New National Parks PSA Tells You Not to Push Your ‘Slower Friends’ in an Attempt to Save Yourself From Bears (Wink, Wink)

Photo: Grant Faint (Getty Images)

We’ve all heard the anecdote about running away from wild animals encountered in the middle of woods. You don’t have to outrun the bear, skunk, badger, sasquatch or angry deer, you simply have to run faster than your friends and family. That’s all well and good, but, if you’re running away from a bear specifically, please don’t push down your “slower friends” in an effort to save yourself. Because, according to the National Park Service, that is in fact murder.

As summer turns to fall, you’ll probably be spending a lot more time hiking and peeping the changing leaves. If you’re too busy gawking at the red, orange, and yellow-hued leaves as they cascade down onto the waiting forest floor you just might miss a bear wandering onto the path. If this happens, the National Park Service has a few tips. None of them include murdering your friends.

You might be wondering why we keep referencing murder. Well, that’s because last week the National Park Service dropped a funny PSA about what not to do when you encounter a bear in the wild.

The first line of the post sums up the mix of important information and tongue-in-cheek humor. It begins, “Please don’t run from bears or push your slower friends down in attempts of saving yourself.”

Instead of leaving your friends to die, the NPS says that you should move slowly away sideways to avoid a stationary bear. Never look away from the bear and don’t trip over anything as you walk away. The sideways motion is thought to be a non-threatening maneuver. It adds, “Do NOT run, but if the bear follows, stop and hold your ground. Like dogs, they will chase fleeing animals.”

Mostly, the post is designed to tell hikers to stay calm and make the right choices when they encounter a bear. Make loud noises so they know you’re a human and not prey. It all ends with a bit of humor, adding, “We apologize to any ‘friends’ who were brought on a hike as the ‘bait’ or were sacrificed to save the group. You will be missed.”

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