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The National Park Service Kindly Requests That You Not Sacrifice a Friend to Save Yourself from a Bear Attack

Source - If you're being confronted by a bear, there's a few things you should know before running away.

As people across the country visiting parks and taking trips to the mountains find themselves in terrifying encounters with bears, the National Park Service (NPS) has offered a few tips on what to do if you're face-to-face with the furry beasts.

The first tip? "Please don't run from bears or push your slower friends down in attempts of saving yourself," the NPS joked in a Facebook post Wednesday.⁣⁣

The best thing to do to safely remove yourself from a bear confrontation is move away slowly and sideways so you can keep an eye on the bear without tripping. Bears are not threatened when you move sideways, but like dogs, they will chase fleeing animals.

Another tip is to identify yourself by making noise, specifically your voice, so the bear doesn't confuse you for an animal and knows you're human. 

Nice try, National Park Service. 

I'll tell you what. You stick to keeping the tourists from messing up the place, rescuing lost hikers, protecting picnic baskets from Yogi Bear, looking menacing in otherwise ridiculous hats and denying the existence of Bigfoot. And I'll stick to keeping myself alive during a bear attack. 

If you think for one hot second that I wouldn't gladly sacrifice one of my slower, less agile and less flight-or-flight, adrenaline-fueled friends to save my own skin, you've got another thing coming. There are plenty more friends where they came from, but just the exactly perfect number of irreplaceable myselfs in the world. 

Literally I decided to get my ACL replaced last year for this very reason, and I told my buddies that. I hadn't been able to run in over a year, and while I could function just fine, I realized without being able to go at top speed, I'd be vulnerable in a survival situation. OK, if you want to nitpick, I used wolves as an example, but it's the same principle. I told them flat out that if we were out having beers someplace in the wilds of Weymouth, MA and were getting stalked by wolves, the pack would immediately identify me as the wounded one they could cull from our drunken herd. I repeated this to the surgeon, reminded him I wasn't trying to be an Olympic sprinter and simply asked that he make me at least as fast as the slowest among them. And here's the US government telling me not to save myself in that tried-and-true, time-honored method, but try some other way.

Yeah, no sale. If you think I'm going to slowly do some sideways choreography or jazz hands or try to use my words, you are sadly mistaken, Ranger Smith. At the first sign of trouble, I'm taking a rock to the slowest - or more likely most irritating - guy I'm with the way Shane in "Walking Dead" put a bullet in the knee of that fat guy so the zombie horde would go after him instead. You just come along later and clean up the pile of bear shit that used to be a guy I went to school with.