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Forest service warns against #bearselfies

By Jacque Wilson, CNN
updated 4:57 PM EDT, Thu October 30, 2014
Bear attacks are rare, but black bears are fast. Really fast.
Bear attacks are rare, but black bears are fast. Really fast.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • U.S. Forest Service says visitors are getting too close to bears to take photos, videos
  • Black bears swarm Taylor Creek in South Lake Tahoe, California, this time of year
  • If the #bearselfie trend continues, wildlife officials may have to close Taylor Creek

(CNN) -- Dear park visitors,

Please don't take selfies with bears. It's stupid.

Love, the U.S Forest Service

That pretty much sums up a warning issued recently by wildlife officials at Taylor Creek Visitor Center in South Lake Tahoe, California.

"Bears are unpredictable, wild animals and may attack if threatened," Forest Supervisor Nancy Gibson said in a statement. "We can't have visitors creating dangerous situations for themselves and others. People are risking serious injury or death if they get too close to a bear."

And if you don't care about your own health, at least consider the bears. If one attacked, officials would have to capture and kill it.

Black bears tend to swarm Taylor Creek this time of year thanks to an annual run of kokanee salmon, according to Mother Nature Network. And Taylor Creek staff say they are "routinely" seeing people getting friendly with the animals in an effort to update their Instagram feed.

If park visitors continue to ignore instructions and venture too close to the bears to take photos and videos, Taylor Creek may be closed to the public, the Forest Service said.

But as these photos show, Taylor Creek isn't the only place people are taking #bearselfies:

Mimi and the Beast #yosemite#yosemitepark#california#baer#grizzly

A photo posted by sandro_desimon (@sandro_desimon) on

#bearselfie

A photo posted by Noelani🐱 (@noelanimari) on

#bearselfie #blackbear #CadesCove #gatlinburg #hiking #smokymountains 🐻🍂🌲

A photo posted by Derrek (@dkupish) on

Bear selfie!!!! #blackbear #ucluelet #bearselfie #canada

A photo posted by rebeccaluckley (@rebeccaluckley) on

#bearselfie #beautifulbc

A photo posted by Leo Clark (@leo_599) on

Click this link to learn how to stay safe in Bear Country.

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