TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Fight or Flight? What would you do if you ever encounter a wild bear? While many have joked they would push a slower friend, the National Park Service says it’s not a laughing matter — sort of.
“If you come across a bear, never push a slower friend down…even if you feel the friendship has run its course,” the National Park Service said in a tweet that’s been viewed over 8.6 million times.
The tweet drew hundreds of comments, including one user who questioned, “What if you’re the slower friend?”
“Check in on the friendship before you head to the woods,” the park service jokingly responded.
Another user asked, “Okay, but what if the bear looks really hungry? Don’t they deserve a lil snack as a treat?”
“Do you consider yourself the faster or slower of the two friends?” the park services asked in return.
“What if I want to push my friend over but it actually has nothing to do with the bear?” a third user asked.
The park service wrote, “Let’s discuss.”
All jokes aside, the service said, “Seeing a bear in the wild is a special treat for any visitor to a national park. While it is an exciting moment, it is important to remember that bears in national parks are wild and can be dangerous.”
Experts added when spring arrives and snow begins to melt, bears become more active.
So what should you do if you encounter a bear?
“Each bear and each experience is unique; there is no single strategy that will work in all situations and that guarantees safety,” NPS said on its website. “Following some basic guidelines may help to lessen the threat of danger. Your safety can depend on your ability to calm the bear.”
To find a list of bear encounter and bear attack safety tips, click here.