‘Never push a slower friend down’ and other tips for bear season

Grizzly bears will emerge from hibernation beginning this month and the National Park Service has advised hikers to exercise common sense and avoid temptation.

“If you come across a bear, never push a slower friend down… even if you feel the friendship has run its course,” the NPS joked via X.

From a more serious followup tweet: “What about your other friend? 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.”

The NPS then tweeted a link that offers tips for those who plan to enter bear country. They include carrying bear spray, hiking in groups, making noise on trails, maintaining a safe distance from bears you see, and avoiding surprise encounters by remaining on trails.

If you do come face to face with a grizzly bear, don’t run. Instead, talk calmly to the animal while remaining in place because fleeing could trigger an attack response. Also, be prepared to use the all-important bear spray.

Grizzly bear images courtesy of the National Parks Service

“Remain still; stand your ground but slowly wave your arms,” the NPS advised. “Help the bear recognize you as a human. It may come closer or stand on its hind legs to get a better look or smell. A standing bear is usually curious, not threatening.”

For other NPS tips, click here. The information could keep you and your loved ones safe in the wilderness.

Story originally appeared on For The Win