Yellowstone National Park officials are encouraging tourists to help scare bears by honking if one comes near their car.
The plea comes after a a black bear in the Tower-Roosevelt area put its paws on vehicles on Saturday, May 11.
Spring is an active time for bears coming out of a long period of fasting during hibernation, so they are actively looking for food. Park officials want to ensure that doesn't include viewing humans as a source of food.
Bears that grow accustomed to people and view humans as a food source can become aggressive and have to be killed.
The park's advice is simple: If a bear approaches or touches your car, honk your horn and drive away to discourage such behavior.
Last May a black bear previously fed by people in the Mammoth Hot Springs area approached a vehicle, put its paws on a door and looked into the vehicle’s windows. Also last May a grizzly bear near Yellowstone Lake went up to a car and played with its antenna.
By helping to scare the bears visitors not only protect themselves but also ensure the bears remain safe by fearing humans.