A man was caught on video walking in the waters of the Brooks River at Katmai National Park in Alaska to take pictures with bears.
In the footage, the reckless man can be seen wading in the water to take pictures of the wild brown bears that were busy catching salmon to eat.
According to National Park Service officials, three men entered an area that is not open for public below Brooks Falls at the Katmai National Park and Preserve. At that time, at least five bears were feeding.
One of the men, who obviously didn’t care much about wildlife, walked in the water, took his camera out and clicked some pictures of the bears.
He then squatted and put his hands in the water, before getting up and taking a selfie with the bears in the background.
The video naturally outraged wildlife officials. The three men not only violated National Park Service wildlife viewing regulations and put their own lives in danger; they also risked the lives of the bears.
Had the bears perceived the man as a threat and approached him aggressively, officials would have been forced to shoot down the animals to save a human life.
Concerned visitors of the park and people who viewed the video reported it to the Katmai rangers. The officials then called the men and charges against them are still pending.
Their names will only be disclosed after the charges get finalized.
“People need to recognize that these are wild brown bears. These visitors are lucky that they escaped the situation without injury. The possible consequences for the bears and themselves could have been disastrous,” superintendent, Mark Sturm, said in a statement.
Katmai National Park and Preserve prohibits visitors from approaching the bears within 50 yards. The park provides prominent viewing platforms at Brooks Camp so that visitors can have a closer look at the wild brown bears but in a safer atmosphere.
Thumbnail/Banner Image: Reuters, Alessandro Bianchi