National Park Service says ‘never push a slower friend down’ when escaping a bear

When the National Park Service cautioned park visitors not to “push a slower friend down” in the event of a bear attack, social media users responded with jokes of their own, sparking a funny back-and-forth.

They were commenting on the popular trope that says you don’t need to be faster than a bear, you just have to be faster than your slowest friend.

“If you come across a bear, never push a slower friend down… even if you feel the friendship has run its course,” the service tweeted on Tuesday.

“Seeing a bear in the wild is a special treat for any visitor to a national park. While it is an exciting moment, it is important to remember that bears in national parks are wild and can be dangerous,” the NPS added.

The NPS continued by announcing that many bears become more active as spring approaches and the snow starts to melt.

The NPS also provided a link to a page that provided safety advice for preventing potential wild bear attacks.

Hundreds of comments were left in response to the tweet, which had received about 5.4 million views as of Wednesday. The verified NPS Twitter account responded to some of the comments.

“Check in on the friendship before you head to the woods,” the NPS instructed one user who questioned what someone should do if they are the slower friend.

“Okay, but what if the bear looks really hungry? Don’t they deserve a lil snack as a treat?” asked another user, to which the NPS replied, “Do you consider yourself the faster or slower of the two friends?”

The NPS commented in response to a user who inquired whether it would be appropriate to push a friend in front of a bear, “Friendships are special, but they don’t happen by chance. It takes effort and trust to build a lasting friendship. Good luck.”

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