“Please don’t run from bears or push your slower friends down in attempts of saving yourself,” the post said.
Instead, the post recommended people should “move away slowly and sideways,” which is non-threatening to bears and allows the person to watch the bear without tripping over something.
The National Park Service also said not to run because bears chase people and not to climb a tree because bears can climb.
It added: “Do NOT push down a slower friend (even if you think the friendship has run its course).”
Ultimately, the Facebook post told people to stay calm and “identify yourself” as a human and not an animal to prey on.
“Help the bear recognize you as a human,” the post said. “We recommend using your voice. (Waving and showing off your opposable thumb means nothing to the bear) The bear may come closer or stand on its hind legs to get a better look or smell. A standing bear is usually curious, not threatening.”
Finally, the National Park Service issued an apology to anyone who was “sacrificed” to a bear.
“P.S. We apologize to any ‘friends’ who were brought on a hike as the ‘bait’ or were sacrificed to save the group. You will be missed,” the post ended.
By Tuesday evening, the hilarious Facebook post had gone viral, with more than 50,000 shares and more than 56,000 likes.
The post also had more than 6,900 comments praising the National Park Service’s humor and good advice.
One commenter wrote: “Love your humor, but I am one of those slower people and I don’t want to be hugged by a bear.”
“I will now forever wonder if I’ve been invited on the hike as bear bait thanks NPS!” another person said.
Someone else commented: “This is why I won’t hike. I am definitely bait material!”