National Park Service says 'never push a slower friend down’ if bear attacks

FILE-A large grizzly bear is spotted in Yellowstone National Park. (William Campbell/Corbis via Getty Images)

A trip to a national park can be fun, but a bear encounter can be dangerous, and the National Park Service wants you to be ready if this occurs. 

The agency shared a few tips on their official Twitter page to keep you safe. 

"If you come across a bear, never push a slower friend down…even if you feel the friendship has run its course⁣," NPS tweeted Wednesday. 

"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 agency added. 

Bear safety tips

The agency has a section on its website detailing what people should do in the event of a possible bear attack. 

According to the NPS, bear attacks are rare but can happen and may result in injuries and death. A bear encounter is unique, and the agency notes there isn't a specific strategy that works in situations to guarantee safety. 

The NPS says your safety can depend on your ability to calm the bear. When arriving at the park, remember to check with the visitor center or office for bear safety information. 

If a bear surprises you, stay calm, the NPS notes, adding to avoid surprising the animal if it doesn't know you are there.  NPS notes that most bears will avoid humans if they hear them coming.

And if you happen to encounter bears, the agency says you should identify yourself, stay calm, pick up small children immediately, hike and travel in groups, and avoid letting the bear get your food. 

This story was reported from Washington, D.C.