We guess this is what happens when you ban tiger selfies.
Forest rangers in California’s South Lake Tahoe are begging visitors to stop taking so many goddamn selfies with bears, WFMY News 2 reports. The insanely dangerous selfies have apparently become so popular, officials at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center are threatening to close the area to visitors if they don’t quit it.
“We’ve had mobs of people that are actually rushing toward the bears trying to get a selfie photo,” Lisa Herron, spokesperson for the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, is quoted as saying.
Ms. Herron said it’s “very possible” that the area will be closed.
“It is presenting a safety issue. We are afraid someone is going to get attacked.”
It’s pretty rare for bears to attack humans, but as WFMY News points out, bombarding bears with camera flashes and duck faces probably isn’t exactly going to lower your chances of it happening. While no selfie-takers have yet been injured, Ms. Herron said she’d heard of a bear “charging a group,” which sounds absolutely terrifying, if you ask us.
“We are telling people they need to stay on the trails and they need to stay away form the bears,” Ms. Herron is quoted as saying. “If a bear has a mind to it can run very fast.”
We, personally, noted people’s fascinations with bear photos on a recent trip to the Rocky Mountains in Canada. In and around Banff National Park, the locals use a slang term, “bear jam” — i.e., when a bajillion tourists stop their cars in the middle of the road to take photos of a nearby bear, effectively inconveniencing other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. Yep, there’s actually a word for that.
In conclusion, perhaps tourists should just never take selfies, ever.
[h/t PC Mag]