A foot race over a Yellowstone National Park bridge was a little too close to call a winner, but the mama bear and her cubs had a distinct advantage. Although I swear I could hear someone screaming; “I don’t have to run faster than the bear, just faster than you!”
As the black bear sow, watchfully looking after her cubs, crossed a bridge in a section of the Montana park during heavy “rush-hour” tourist traffic. You can hear Yellowstone Park Ranger John Kerr screaming; “Keep going! Go! Go!”
“These tourists were absolutely in danger,” Bob Gibson, Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Communication & Education Program Manager, told NBC News. “Black bears are usually shy of people. But you put them with their cubs and they get really protective. You never want to be between a bear and its cub.”
He went on to explain that the cubs in the video are approximately 13 months-old, and that a black bear cub will spend the first year or so of its life learning skills from its mother before leaving. Had the cubs been younger, the outcome could have turned deadly as a mother becomes less protective the older her cubs become.
“Had they been the young of the year and 10 days old, the mom would have been all over the tourists.” Gibson told reporters.
He advises visitors who come to the park, to stay as far away from bears as possible, especially in the spring when cubs are born, and in the fall when bears are getting ready to hibernate.