Today I read a sad story about a man who was attacked and killed by a grizzly bear while trying to photograph it in Denali National Park (Alaska). Apparently, he was photographing it for over eight minutes, and got within 50 yards of the bear. The bear probably then felt threatened, and attacked the man.
Whenever you see wildlife, it’s always exciting. And, especially as photographers, I think we get even more excited than the average person, and totally forget about safety sometimes in the pursuit of a photograph.
But, it’s important to remember that wildlife can become dangerous if they feel threatened.
If you’re entering bear country, or anywhere there’s potentially dangerous wildlife, please take the time to research how to be safe and what to do in the event that you encounter one of these animals. Many times safety reminders are posted at the trailhead. But, if they’re not, then check with a park ranger. Although these safety guidelines might seem a little overboard sometimes, keep in mind that they’re coming from people who have dedicated their lives to studying these animals.
Remember that a photograph is never worth risking your life for. Be safe.
About the Author: Steve Berardi is a naturalist, photographer, software engineer, and founder of PhotoNaturalist. You can usually find him hiking in the beautiful mountains and deserts of southern California.