A trio of young women walking the paths of the Chipinque Ecological Park in Nuevo León got some unwanted attention when a highly curious black bear got too close for comfort and gave the visitors a thorough examination.
The medium-sized bear, captured on a 59-second video, can be seen sniffing the women’s legs and torsos and in one case, getting up on its hind legs twice, at times placing its front paws on a woman’s shoulders as it sniffs her.
Voices can be heard in the background as companions of the women attempted to drive the bear away and advised the three not to move.
The women took the advice and remained completely still as the bear interacted with them and not until it began to walk away did they leave the scene of the encounter. The video was posted on Twitter, where it has had over 4,000 views.
Chipinque Park is part of the larger Cumbres de Monterrey National Park in the eastern Sierra Madre mountains.
— El Universal Estados (@Univ_Estados) July 18, 2020
According to experts, this type of sighting is not unusual in the park during certain times of the year, when bears come down from the mountains in search of food and water. The bears even appear in residential areas. Black bears are considered to be an endangered species in Mexico, due to the destruction of their habitat and illegal hunting. However, its only protected population is in Sierra del Burro, part of the eastern Sierra Madre mountain range which lies in the state of Coahuila.
The women followed expert recommendations to the letter, according to Nuevo León Civil Protection authorities, who reminded residents on that they are in “bear country” and that they have to learn to coexist with the animals.
They advise people who encounter a bear to “remain calm, never put yourself between a mother and her cub.”
However, other videos of the same incident posted on social media show that companions of the three women were not so cautious. One showed a member of the group trying to take a photograph of herself with the bear, going against official advice to avoid taking photographs or selfies.