Lake Tahoe Tourists Prompt Park Officials To Warn Against Taking Selfies With Bears

Are you ready for your facepalm moment of the week, and perhaps the year? Bear selfies are now a thing on social media. Not only are tourists taking selfies with bears in the background, but it's happening so frequently at South Lake Tahoe that officials with the U.S. Forest Service have had to issue a warning against doing it.

"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 Management Unit, told Mashable. "A bear will come and whole mobs of people will charge up to them to take photos.

Bear attacks on humans aren't all that common, though if provoked, they may charge. In fact, Herron's staff just recently received a report of a charging bear. She notes that although they may "seem big and lumbering," black bears are actually "very, very fast."

"We just want to remind people to stay on the trails and respect the wildlife. If you encounter a bear, it's best to back away slowly to another area," Herron says.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife organization posted this photo to Twitter imploring people not to take selfies with bears.

According to separate reports, park officials have even considered closing down the area if the problem doesn't stop. At this point, it's become a safety issue and they're afraid that someone is going to get attacked. And it's not just chance encounters on trails that are leading to selfies. Herron says that people are stopping their cars along California State Route 89 and running across the highway to get a closer look at the hungry bears.