Reporter’s bear safety advice becomes online entertainment

Lindsay Jolivet

Rhode Island residents needn't fear after a recent bear sighting, because their local NBC station has all the tips to keep them safe. Insightful tips like throwing your shoes.

A report by Julie Tremmel at NBC 10 in Cranston, Rhode Island, is gaining fame online, for better or worse. Tremmel demonstrated how to react in the event of a bear encounter using exaggerated motions that might fit better in a vaudeville act than on a nightly newscast.

Her advice, if gleaned solely from her actions, might be construed something like this: avoid direct eye contact by darting your head side to side in a frantic motion, like a guilty suspect trying to avoid detection by the authorities.

Back away slowly and wiggle your arms, then if the bear attacks, throw your shoes at it. Lastly, curl up into a ball on the grass, then sign off as the camera shows you lying still on the ground, face down.

[ Related: Bear standing on hind legs breaks into car ]

Tremmel said her inspiration for the demonstration came from recent black bear sightings in Rhode Island because at least one resident who saw a bear in his yard said he had no idea what to do.

While throwing your shoes seems foolish for obvious, walking-related reasons, Parks Canada advises anyone who meets a bear not to drop any clothing, food or objects to distract the animal.

Don't drop your pic-a-nic basket for Yogi Bear either; Parks Canada says it's a bad idea to reward a bear if it's behaving aggressively.