Snowmobilers Chase a Bear in Viral Video | Mountain Sledder
Mountain Sledder | On 11, May 2018
Once again, a couple of individual snowmobilers have made a bad name for the community at-large—in this case, by harassing wildlife on camera. In a YouTube video posted April 10, 2018, two snowmobilers chase a bear and provoke it into defending itself. The video is misleadingly called, “Snowmobilers Encounter a Bear”.
Snowmobilers Chase a Bear in Viral Video
According to the video description, the event occurred 6 days earlier, on April 4, 2018. The location is Paramushir, an island in the Kuril chain in far-eastern Russia. The video description claims:
“Snowmobilers were out and saw a bear and followed it. They wanted to chase the bear away from their fishing camp.”
What shows in the video is something quite different. In it, two snowmobilers chase and herd what appears to be a large, frightened bear across a snowy plains with mobile devices in hand recording footage. This is clearly not a case of snowmobilers driving a bear away from a fishing camp—which is nowhere evident in the video. Both snowmobilers ride very close to the lumbering bear, taking turns circling and cutting off its escape route. These are not the actions of fishermen simply protecting their camp. But rather two individuals harassing wildlife for their own purposes.
Eventually, the bear is hemmed in and provoked into defending itself. The bear stands up and takes a swipe at the filmer as he rides his snowmobile so close by as to nearly run into the animal. Here’s the video.
The date in the description suggests that the bear is just out of hibernation—a time when bears are most weak and vulnerable after having not eaten for many months.
Instances of Snowmobilers Harassing Wildlife Too Common
Sadly, this is not the first time snowmobilers have been seen chasing wildlife on camera. There are several videos on YouTube which depict snowmobilers harassing wildlife on sleds by chasing or following closely—moose, in particular. The most disturbing of these is a video in which a snowmobile provokes a moose into defending itself before pulling out a handgun and killing the animal. These behaviours are disgusting and cast a shameful shadow on the community of snowmobilers.
We much prefer to see footage of snowmobilers like this group from Newfoundland. These folks stopped to help extract a moose from hole in which it was stuck.
In any case, encounters with wildlife can most commonly be concluded safely by simply shutting down the snowmobile and waiting for the animal to move away on its own. In no way is unnecessarily approaching a wild animal ever a good idea.