Man seen wading into bear feeding area to face criminal charges

Man seen wading into bear feeding area to face criminal charges

Outdoors

Man seen wading into bear feeding area to face criminal charges

A man who risked his life by wading into a river where brown bears were feeding on salmon is among three people facing criminal charges for entering a closed wilderness area.

The accompanying footage, captured by a streaming bear-cam Thursday evening at Alaska’s Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park & Preserve, shows the man trying to get close to several large bears to capture a selfie and other photographs.

Image is a video screen grab

The National Park Service stated in a news release issued Friday that the violation of regulations also placed the bears in jeopardy.

“People need to recognize that these are wild brown bears. These visitors are lucky that they escaped the situation without injury. The possible consequences for the bears and themselves could have been disastrous,” Park Superintendent Mark Sturm said.

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Anela Marie Ramos, a spokeswoman for the National Park Service, told the Anchorage Daily News that this type of reckless intrusion into a bear feeding area was “unprecedented.”

Image is a video screen grab

Park rules state that approaching within 50 yards of bears feeding on a concentrated food source – such as salmon in the Brooks River – is banned.

This part of the river is closed from June 15 through August 15 to accommodate bears during the salmon-feeding season.

There are safe viewing platforms farther away and it’s presumed that the men climbed from one of the platforms to enter the closed area.

The park received several calls from people who were viewing the Explore.org bear-cam when the man entered the picture and began to wade into the river.

Rangers were able to quickly find the men, two Alaska residents and an out-of-state resident, who were not identified because charges are pending.

–Images are video screen grabs

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