Wyoming: Is Honking Effective If A Bear Approaches Your Vehicle?
The National Park Service (NPS) strives to make sure tourist are safe while traversing Yellowstone. Their latest tip is a simple, but effective one.
If a bear approaches or actually touches your vehicle, first and foremost, don't exit the car, but do honk your horn and drive away. According to NPS, this discourages the bears from repeating this type of behavior.
Last week (May 11th, 2019), a black bear in the Tower-Roosevelt area put its paws on vehicles. In May 2018, a black bear previously fed by people in the Mammoth Hot Springs area approached a vehicle, put its paws on a door and looked into the vehicle’s windows. Also last May, a grizzly bear near Yellowstone Lake went up to a car and played with its antenna. NPS staff stated:
Bears that grow accustomed to people and view humans as a food source can become aggressive and have to be killed.
Protect yourself and the bears people come to Yellowstone to enjoy.
NPS reminds tourists that all of Yellowstone is a bear habitat: from the deepest backcountry to the boardwalks around Old Faithful. The also encourage people to prepare for bear encounters no matter where you're located in the park. Under the Bear Safety the following is listed:
- Never feed bears
- If a bear approaches or touches your car, honk your horn and drive away
- Review the best practices for hiking and camping in bear country, and learn what to do if you encounter a bear.
- Read about bear spray, a highly effective, non-lethal bear deterrent.
- Make sure you know what areas are closed for bear management.
To most Wyomingites this is all common knowledge, but it's always good to share just in case. In recent years, there have been way too many cases of tourons in Yellowstone.