“Tourons” Crowd Grizzly Bear on Fresh Elk Kill. Will They Ever Learn?

Yesterday, we shared viral footage of a large crowd of tourists gathering around a sow grizzly bear with two cubs in Yellowstone National Park. Today, we’re highlighting another example of life-threatening stupidity that occurred in Grand Teton National Park, which sits immediately south of Yellowstone in northwestern Wyoming.

Related: Watch: Tourists Swarm Grizzly Bear with Two Cubs in Yellowstone National Park

The video, shared by the @touronsofyellowstone Instagram page on August 4, shows a lone grizzly bear feeding on an extremely fresh elk carcass. It’s not clear when it was filmed or how the elk died, but it might have been hit by a car, since both the dead elk and the bear are right next to the shoulder of a nearby road. As the wild scene unfolds, tourists can be seen standing outside of their vehicles snapping photos of the visibly agitated bear. See if for yourself below.

“Some might think that this griz would be too occupied to care about the tourons, but this is probably one of the most dangerous positions to be in,” the caption reads. “Grizzly Bears become very protective when it comes to their food, the griz might think that these ppl are a threat and it would take him literally seconds to reach one of these tourons!?”

At the beginning of the short clip, a woman in a safari hat pulls a young girl in for a closer look while a little boy next to her clicks away on an SLR. The family of wildlife watchers appears to be no more than 15 yards from the grizzly as it tears hunks of flesh and hide from the dead elk’s shoulder. “Oh…it’s eating a deer,” someone says. “Oh my God!” exclaims another person from behind the camera.

The bear pants as it gazes up at its tormentors in between bites of fresh elk meat. One of the tourists is seen sitting atop a passenger-side door. The shocking scene appears to violate every tenet of bear safety that’s ever been written on a sign or put in pamphlet, but no one in the video seems to notice or care. “Ok, that’s enough,” someone says, and the clip cuts out.

Read Next: Grizzly Bear Kills Woman Near Yellowstone National Park

“Obviously no ranger was present, and those children being there and so close just gives me massive amounts of anxiety,” the caption reads. “There is a reason you should keep 100 yards or more from bears, especially Grizzlies.”

A grizzly on a fresh kill, or even a cached food source, is a notoriously dangerous critter. In the Spring of 2021, a man was mauled and later died from his injuries after attempting to photograph a 20-year-old boar that was guarding a moose carcass near West Yellowstone, Montana. Investigators ended up shooting and killing the 411-pound bear after it charged them from concealed location behind a clump of trees. A report filed at the time said that the bear was still protecting the same moose carcass when it charged the team, a full day after the initial attack.


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