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Bear Encounter from the 1920s (Not Recommended Today!)

Here's a bear-encounter photo that prompts a double-take or OMG from nearly everyone who sees it.

The year is 1923, and the place is Yellowstone National Park. The girl standing just a few feet from the black bear cub (and, amazingly, looking quite relaxed!) was Marguerite Hofer, the grandmother of REI art director Joel Ertsgaard who shared the photo with some of us in the office. Marguerite was on a family road trip and just 12 years old when this photo was taken.

Details of the encounter are lost to history, other than we know that Marguerite survived the encounter just fine and lived to the ripe old age of 96.

Of course, this is a photo you should not attempt to recreate. While attacks are relatively rare, bears are unpredictable and attacks do happen. The results are usually bad for bear and human. Be sure to see Yellowstone National Park's current recommendations on how to react during a bear encounter.

There's a fun footnote to this story. When Marguerite got married some years later, her new last name became... Baer.


Posted on at 7:05 PM

Tagged: bears, national parks and yellowstone

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Les Matz

Is Maurguerite wearing her circa 1920's gym class uniform? It's obviously good bear protection.

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