Looking both ways before crossing the street, using your blinker to signal in traffic and watching where you're going are all examples of just plain good common sense. But basic common sense seems to be running in short supply among some folks in the Lake Tahoe area.
It's gotten so bad that the Forest Service has had to issue a public announcement to curb the problem. What's the problem, you ask?
No, really, people are taking selfie photos, posing with wild bears. "People have been rushing up to the bears to take selfies and videos with them," Lisa Herron, a public affairs officer for the Lake Tahoe Basin said. "A bear will come and whole mobs of people will charge up to them to take photos."
Herron added that some people are even darting across area highways if they see a bear photo op on the other side.
This is a big problem for more than one reason. October is when the salmon swim upriver to spawn, and bears flock to the streams to gorge themselves on the easiest meal they'll get all year as they fatten up for the long winter hibernation.
Well, maybe the easiest meal outside of a dumb hiker. No one has been eaten yet, but it's only a matter of time before the lack of common sense is going to kill someone. Not to mention a bear just being a bear.
Thankfully, the park closes at the end of October, which Herron hopes will ease the problem. Until then, these are continuing to pop up on the Internet.
IMAGE: @PDILL11 ON INSTAGRAM
IMAGE: @JENTWEN ON INSTAGRAM
IMAGE: @JESSICA_HUG ON INSTAGRAM
Just hangin with a grizzly pic.twitter.com/5GFehOnNP8
— Miranda McKee (@mirandeeezy) October 18, 2014
IMAGE: @JACOB_BEAN ON INSTAGRAM
A woman in the Lake Tahoe area was bitten and scratched by a black bear earlier this fall. However, the Forest Service is debating on pressing charges against the woman since she had been documented feeding the bears in her backyard since 2010 and was warned multiple times to stop.
Authorities know that when a bear loses its natural fear of man, it will either have to be put down as a threat to public safety or else interaction with man will kill it, like the two cubs that were struck and killed by cars earlier this year.
Please use your common sense out there and be safe!