National Park Service Asks to NOT Let Friend Get Eaten By Bears
"You don't always have to run faster than a bear, you just have to run faster than your friend." It has always been a funny figure of speech when it comes to surviving a bear attack in the wilderness. Apparently, some people are taking that a little too literal, when it comes to bears. So much so that it got a response from the National Park Service.
Back in 2020, the NPS put up a post on Facebook telling people that encounter bears "Please don't push your slower friends down in attempts of saving yourself."
They followed that little tidbit of advice with ways you should handle yourself in case of an encounter with a bear.
If you come upon a stationary bear, move away slowly and sideways; this allows you to keep an eye on the bear and avoid tripping. Do NOT run, but if the bear follows, stop and hold your ground. Do NOT push down a slower friend (even if you think the friendship has run its course).
Obviously, it is a tongue-in-cheek way of sharing with park visitors how to be bear aware. They added another hilarious tip, on how to show a bear that you are human by "showing off your opposable thumbs."
NPS ended the post with
P.S. 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.
But, in all seriousness, be Bear aware. Always carry pepper spray when hiking in the backcountry.