Bear Attack Public Safety Video Goes Viral

by
Owen Poindexter
After covering a story about a man who had “no clue” what to do about an approaching bear, the NBC affiliate in Providence Rhode Island decided to make a public service announcement about how to handle being approached by a “curious bear” or what to do in the case of a bear attack.

After covering a story about a man who had “no clue” what to do about an approaching bear, the NBC affiliate in Providence Rhode Island decided to make a public service announcement about how to handle being approached by a “curious bear” or what to do in the case of a bear attack.

Filmed in a dark, woodsy setting where bear attacks could happen at any moment (at least in your imagination), the suddenly-famous NBC anchor Julie Tremmel acts out bear avoidance tips from “the experts.” First of all, don’t make direct eye contact with the bear. Bears and many other animals take this as a challenge, and may attack. Julie Tremmel is an expert at demonstrating not making direct eye contact. If you move your eyes around very quickly like a crazy person, you are definitely not making direct eye contact with anyone, bear or otherwise.

“Don’t run away. Instead, back off slowly,” is the next bear-avoidance trick. Running away also triggers a response from bears and other omnivores/carnivores, which is that you are prey and should be chased. Bears are faster than you. You don’t want to make this a footrace. Instead, copy Julie Tremmel and back away while holding out your arms, as if to say, “just be chill, bear.” And keep those eyes moving.

“Waive your arms to let the animal know that you’re a human.” Tremmel’s arm-waving is even better than her not making direct eye contact. She sort of looks like someone frantically trying to get broken motion-sensor lights to come on.

BUT do this all quietly. Loud noises could distress the bear. Unless the bear attacks, then scream a lot and throw things at the bear, like your shoe (it’s all Julie had). After that, play dead. And stay calm at all times. The bear might be just as frightened as you, especially if you do the Julie Tremmel bear avoidance dance from start to finish.

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