In case you've ever wondered how to handle a bear attack, the general rule of thumb is to not sacrifice a friend – well, according to the National Park Service.
In what was intended to be a somewhat serious announcement, the organisation urged people to not "push a slower friend down" in the event of crossing a bear. "Even if you feel like the friendship has run its course," they jokingly added.
They went on to say that while "seeing a bear in the wild is a special treat for any visitor to a national park" can be an exciting experience, "it is important to remember that bears in national parks are wild and can be dangerous."
The tweet has been viewed over 8.3 million times and was soon flooded with hysterical responses from fellow Twitter users.
"From this point forward…whatever happened before this notice is…well, it’s forgotten," one said, while another quipped: "What about enemies?"
"Okay, but what if the bear looks really hungry? Don't they deserve a lil snack as a treat?" A third asked, to which the NPS responded: "Do you consider yourself the faster or slower of the two friends?"
\u201cIf you come across a bear, never push a slower friend down\u2026even if you feel the friendship has run its course.\u2063\u2063\u201d
— National Park Service (@National Park Service)
In a follow-up post, the NPS attached a link to a useful document on staying safe in the run-up to spring, a time when bears become more active.
In the rare event of a bear attack, the organisation encourages people to "play dead" if approached by a brown/grizzly bear. "Lay ﬂat on your stomach with your hands clasped behind your neck," they wrote, "Spread your legs to make it harder for the bear to turn you over. Remain still until the bear leaves the area."
If it is a black bear, the NSP advises people to not play dead, and try to make an escape to a car or nearby building.
"If escape is not possible, try to ﬁght back using any object available," they said. "Concentrate your kicks and blows on the bear's face and muzzle."
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