Skip to main content

Forest Service says no more bear selfies — unless it’s with Smokey

Paul Souders snaps a selfie with a female grizzly
Bears are generally quite docile, despite their reputation for ferocity, but don’t take that as permission to take a selfie with one. That’s the U.S. Forest Service’s message to visitors of the Taylor Creek Visitor Center in South Lake Tahoe, after reports of people trying to take selfies with bears feeding on the annual run of kokanee salmon surfaced.

Proving once again that common sense is in short supply, “mobs of people” have been rushing towards the animals in an effort to capture ‘bear selfies’ with their smartphones, a spokeswoman for the Lake Tahoe Basin Management site told USA Today. Though there haven’t been reports of injuries, a bear reportedly charged one group.

So my bear selfie keeps popping up on the internet. Ha. So here it is again. #bearselfie #bear #bears #selfie

A photo posted by Jacob Bean (@jacob_bean) on

Officials, concerned the behavior might provoke the bears to violence, are threatening to close down the area. The heavy mammals are capable of serious damage — black bears, the species native to the area, can weigh as much as 500 pounds and run 35 mph.  

The Forest Service would also really prefer that people not stop their cars and leave marked trails to get a better angle of the bears. As tempting as capturing a photo of these beautiful animals may be to some people, the Forest Service says, it “presents a safety issue.” No kidding.

However, if you still feel tempted to take a bear selfie, you can always count on Smokey the Bear or your own teddy.

Editors' Recommendations

More than 100 Instagram accounts belonging to world leaders are collecting dust
instagram united nations obama

What do U.S. President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani have in common? In real life, maybe not a whole lot, we would guess. But the one thing they share is that both leaders have an Instagram account. From Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, it seems almost every world leader has a presence on the social network. Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom was the latest to set up an account on February 10. However, according to a study by public relations firm Burson-Marsteller, one-third of world leaders with Instagram accounts do not use the service.

The findings come from the Burson-Marsteller's 2016 Twiplomacy study, which looks at how world leaders and governments leverage social media to engage with citizens. With Instagram, it analyzed 305 accounts belonging to world leaders – which includes not just heads of state, but also government and foreign ministers – of 136 out of 193 member states of the United Nations. The firm discovered that a third of those account have either been inactive for more than a year or never used. (Full list of accounts researched can be found here.)

Read more
Woman tries to take selfie with bison, gets flipped into air

Attempting to snap a selfie with a bison in Yellowstone Park recently, a 43-year-old Mississippi woman was gored and tossed into the air by the giant mammal. Despite signs around the national park warning visitors to stay away from the wildlife, this unnamed woman thought it would be a brilliant idea to snap a quick selfie with an animal that can weigh up to 2,000 pounds when fully mature.

She was standing roughly six yards away from the bison when it charged at the woman and her daughter, just outside Old Faithful. While her daughter was able to run away in time, the Mississippi native was snagged by the bison's horns and tossed upward into the air. Thankfully, she only suffered minor injuries from the incident and was treated at a nearby clinic. If provoked, bison can run up to speeds of 35 miles per hour as well as cover lengthy distances while galloping like a horse.

Read more
Cannes film festival director bans ‘ridiculous and grotesque’ red carpet selfies
cannes film festival bands red carpet selfies jake gyllenhaal selfie

Love them or hate them, selfies have become ingrained in our culture -- but don't tell that to the director of this year's Cannes Film Festival. For the 68th edition of the festival, which begins tomorrow and runs through the 24th, extended-arm smartphone pics will be looked down upon (and possibly even stopped), according to the Hollywood Reporter. Festival director Thierry Fremaux has some strong feelings about the selfie trend, sparking an unofficial "law" similar to what happened at last week's Met Ball in NYC.

"You never look as ugly as you do in a selfie," said Fremaux, explaining one reason for the "ban" to The Hollywood Reporter. He called the self-snap "ridiculous and grotesque," and hopes that his choice words will help ease the foot traffic on the red carpet. "We don't want to prohibit it, but we want to slow down the process of selfies on the steps," he said.

Read more