People who venture onto the trails in Yellowstone National Park this summer will see new signs warning them about avoiding bears and what to do if they should encounter one.
Last summer two people were killed in the park in separate bear encounters. Neither hiker carried bear spray. One ran when attacked and one was hiking alone. The park recommends hiking in groups, carrying bear spray and not running if you surprise a bear.
A survey found that less than 5 percent of backcountry users read trailhead sign boards.
The old bear signs had been in use since the 1980s. They provided a block of text warning people about how to behave in bear country and in different kinds of encounters. The signs were intended to be concise, complete and attention-grabbing.
The new signs are simplified, with a large “Bear Attack” at the top to catch hiker’s attention. They provide basic safety suggestions: Be Alert. Make Noise. Carry bear spray. Avoid hiking alone. Do not run.
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