Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Creeps Up on Man Hiking Off-Trail in Tense Video

A Yellowstone Grizzly Bear crept up on a man hiking off-trail in the wilderness, a tense video shows.

Stan Mills posted the footage to his YouTube channel, which shows him hiking through a remote area of the park.

"I was sitting in the rain under my poncho just kinda gazing off into the distance while resting under a tree when I took a look to my left. I immediately saw a grizzly walking toward me." Mills said in a caption to the video. "I was not very visible to the bear because I was under my poncho but the grizzly finally spotted me from the movement I was making while going after my bear spay and then my camera."

At around 7 minutes 30 seconds into the footage, the grizzly can be seen standing about 35 yards away from Mills.

Stan Mills posted footage of the close encounter to his YouTube channel

"He sees me, he saw me first," Mills says in the footage. The bear, however, appears unbothered by the man's presence, as it continues to forage and sniff at the ground.

In a different shot, the bear can be seen looking directly at Mills.

"I'm just going to not move or anything," Mills says.

The bear then continues walking, still appearing unfazed by Mills' presence.

Mills begins moving slowly away from the bear, so that he is about 100 yards away, and gets away unscathed.

"You are never supposed to get within 100 yards of bears in the park but with close surprise encounters you have no choice and at that point you have to do the right thing," Mills said in the video caption.

In 2019, the National Park Service (NPS) estimated there were about 728 grizzly bears living in Yellowstone National Park.

On its website, NPS says if a Yellowstone visitor encounters a bear, and it hasn't seen them, they should keep out of sight and detour as far as possible behind and downwind of the bear.

If the bear spots a visitor, however, NPS advises retreating slowly and leaving the area, if possible, slowly walking upwind to let their scent reach the bear.

Mills told Newsweek that he often has close encounters with bears.

"I am not looking to get close to bears...I never approach closer to a bear once I spot it, it just happens because I spend a lot of time hiking in grizzly areas," he said. "I don't get nervous. I go hiking to see all the wonderful wildlife in God's beautiful creation... I try to show people that there is a peaceful and respectful way to hike in the backcountry.... I have never had a bad encounter with a grizzly bear and as in this video, they have always shown me the same respect that I show them."

The NPS said bears should never be approached. A bear standing on two legs indicates that they are looking for more information on the visitor, however, this does not necessarily mean it will attack.

Despite having a fearsome reputation, a grizzly bear won't attack a person unless it is provoked.

Grizzly bear
A picture shows a grizzly bear in Yellowstone. The NPS advises people not to approach them. William Campbell/Getty Images

Update 05/09/22 at 7:53 a.m. ET: This article has been updated to include quotes from Stan Mills.

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