This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
The National Park Service is offering some highly unusual advice for those Americans who venture into the nation’s vast wild regions – and could in coming weeks encounter a bear as the behemoths come out of hibernation.
“Never push a slower friend down.”
It likely was intended as a play on the old, and dark, joke about two hikers who encounter a threatening bear. One reaches down, frantically putting on some running shoes, and the other suggests that such a move is futile anyway, as people cannot outrun bears.
The first response was, “I don’t have to outrun the bear. I just have to outrun you.”
A report at CNN said the NPS actually was offering “some bear-y important tips for what not to do if you – and a friend – encounter a bear in the wild.”
“If you come across a bear, never push a slower friend down …even if you feel the friendship has run its course,” the agency said.
It added, “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 report noted brown and grizzly bears are found in Idaho, Washington, Montana, and Wyoming, while black bears are in most of the Northeast, the Appalachians, and the West Coast, “in addition to portions of the South and Midwest.”
Bears are becoming more and more active as spring approaches, and the advice from the NPS is for visitors to keep their distance and not surprise a bear.
But on social media, commenters focused on that friend that they are not supposed to “push down.”
“Okay, but what if the bear looks really hungry? Don’t they deserve a lil snack as a treat?” said Jeff Brown.
Another wondered what to do if “they consider me a friend, but I just consider them an acquaintance.”