For some, reasonably close just isn’t close enough. The viewing platform erected at Brooks Falls, in Alaska’s Katmai National Park and Preserve is *right there* over where grizzlies laconically fish for salmon, fattening up before their long winter’s nap. Visitors from around the world head to falls, walk to the platform, mind the directions to stay on it, marvel at the bears, snap a few photos, then leave.
Not the three dudes who were just charged with the feds for disturbing a protected animal and entering a closed area. From the Justic Department release:
David Engelman, 56, of Sandia Park, New Mexico, and Ronald J. Engelman II, 54, and Steven Thomas, 30, both of King Salmon, Alaska, left the authorized Brooks Falls viewing platform and waded into the Brooks River below Brooks Falls. The three men created a hazardous condition as brown bears were feeding on the falls and in the Brooks River just below the falls. As they waded into the Brooks River the three men came within 50 yards of the brown bears.
Approaching bears, or any other protected species within 50 years is strictly prohibited at the park.
The men all face as much as six months of prison, a $5,000 fine, and a year’s worth of probation.
Stop doing this!
Read more, here.