Waterton Canyon in Denver, Colo., has been closed to the public after one too many visitors tried to take selfies with wild bears.
"We've actually seen people using selfie sticks to try and get as close to the bears as possible, sometimes within 10 feet of wild bears," Brandon Ransom, manager of recreation of Denver Water, the public utility that maintains the park, said in a statement. "The current situation is not conducive for the safety of our visitors or the well-being of the wildlife."
Park authorities decided to close down the park "based on the recommendation of wildlife experts" for both "the safety of the public and well-being of the wildlife."
The park, which sees as many as 100,000 visitors a year, shut off public access on Aug. 28 due to "increased bear activity" and reports of a cyclist being chased by a bear, according to Denver Water.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) said that bears are actively foraging at this time of the year in preparation for hibernation season.
"It is a poor choice from our perspective, A) to get that close to wildlife and B) to turn your back, particularly on bears," said Matt Robbins, a spokesman for CPW, ABC Action News reported.
"At this time we are continuing to monitor the bear activity with CPW," said Travis Thompson, senior media coordinator for Denver Water, according to The Guardian. "Once the activity subsides, we'll make an announcement on reopening the canyon."
The hashtag #bearselfie has become increasingly popular with people putting their lives on the line to take a selfie with the potentially dangerous animals.
© 2018 HNGN, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.0 COMMENTS