A Yellowstone grizzly bear slithered over a man who was hiking off-road in the desert, tense video shows.
Stan Mills posted the images on his YouTube channelwhich shows him hiking in a remote area of the park.
“I was sitting in the rain under my poncho, looking a little into the distance while resting under a tree when I glanced to my left. I immediately saw a grizzly bear walking towards me.” Mills said in a caption to the video. “I wasn’t very visible to the bear as I was under my poncho but the grizzly finally spotted me thanks to the movement I was making going after my bear spay and then my camera.”
At about 7 minutes 30 seconds into the footage, the grizzly can be seen standing about 35 yards from Mills.
“He sees me, he saw me first,” Mills says in the footage. The bear, however, doesn’t seem bothered by the man’s presence, as it continues to feed and sniff the ground.
In a different shot, the bear can be seen looking directly at Mills.
“I’m just not going to move or anything,” Mills said.
The bear then continues walking, still seeming unfazed by Mills’ presence.
Mills begins to slowly move away from the bear, so that he is about 100 yards away and walks away unscathed.
“You are never supposed to come within 100 yards of bears in the park, but with surprise close encounters you have no choice and at that point you have to do the right thing” , Mills said in the caption of the video.
In 2019, the National Park Service (NPS) estimated that there were approximately 728 grizzly bears living in Yellowstone National Park.
On its website, NPS states that if a visitor to Yellowstone encounters a bear and has not seen it, they should stay out of sight and detour as far behind and downwind of the bear as possible. .
However, if the bear spots a visitor, NPS advises retreating slowly and leaving the area, if possible, walking slowly upwind to let the bear’s scent reach the bear.
The mills said Newsweek that he often has close encounters with bears.
“I don’t try to get close to bears…I never get close to a bear once I’ve spotted it, it just happens because I spend a lot of time hiking in the grizzly bear areas,” he said. “I don’t get nervous. I hike to see all the wonderful wildlife of God’s beautiful creation…I try to show people that there is a peaceful and respectful way to hike in the wilderness. ‘backcountry…I’ve never had a bad encounter with a grizzly and like in this video, they always showed me the same respect I show them.”
The NPS said bears should never be approached. A bear standing on two legs indicates that it is looking for more information about the visitor, but that does not necessarily mean that it will attack.
Although it has a fearsome reputation, a grizzly will not attack a person unless provoked.
Update 9/5/22 7:53 a.m. ET: This article has been updated to include quotes from Stan Mills.