Tourists visiting Katmai National Park in Alaska nearly ran into the largest bear in the park.
The bear is named 747 and happened to walk right up to Cara Siciliano and her group of tourists.
As it turned out, the massive brown bear wasn’t interested in the humans. He leisurely strolled past them before walking up to a sign and examining a picture of a brown bear. After he looked at the picture for a moment, he turned and walked back in the forest – leaving the tourists untouched.
Cara happened to capture the encounter on video and shared to TikTok where it quickly went viral and gained over 4.5 million likes.
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In the video, you can see the massive bear strolling by. He’s so close they likely could’ve reached out and pet him. Thankfully, the group of tourists was with a local guide who’d flown them to the park from Homer, Alaska.
The guide helped everyone stay calm and collected. As you can hear in the video, he talks to the bear as it walks by, saying, “Hey big boy. Hey big boy. Hey bear.”
The guide continues to talk to the bear until it’s out of sight.
Speaking with Flying Magazine, the guide, Patrick Carter, explained that the bear encounter was actually nothing special.
He said, “It was not an unusual event. It’s not a deadly thing. It’s sort of like a ‘nothing to see here’ thing. You could literally take that video every day.”
Katmai National Park is famous for having the world’s most dense population of brown bears, according to Reuters. If you watch closely in the beginning of the TikTok video, you can actually see another brown bear running away from the sign (and away from Bear 747).
While Carter suggested that brown bears aren’t dangerous, they’re considered the coastal version of grizzly bears. According to National Geographic, brown bear encoutners are 3.5 times more likely to result in injury—than the average polar bear encounter, and 21 times more dangerous than the average black bear encounter.”
When encountering a brown bear, Cara’s group did things perfectly. The National Park Service notes that you should talk calmly, stand your ground, and move slowly if encountering a brown bear.
If an attack does occur with a brown bear, it’s advised to play dead and lay on your stomach with your hands around your neck and your legs spread out. Hopefully that advice is never needed, but you never know!Whizzco