Reports that Yellowstone National Park has authorized a “bear run” to celebrate its 150th anniversary are not true.
Cowboy State Daily, on Saturday, received a number of emails from readers wondering about the authenticity of an announcement which describe a “Motorized Cooler Bear Run” where participants mount motorized coolers at the northeast entrance of Yellowstone and try to outrun bears all the way down to the south entrance.
One reader wondered if the event was scheduled to coincide with the park’s sesquicentennial celebration.
“I understand that Yellowstone is proud of its heritage, but this could be dangerous,” wrote Alicia Jessen. “Surely, there has to be a better way to raise money for the park than doing this. I hope wisdom prevails and they cancel this horrible idea.”
Although such an event would likely attract great interest, it’s all fictitious.
The colorful flyer, which shows a man being chased by a bear on a motorized cooler announcing the contest, was created by the founder of the popular Facebook group: “Yellowstone National Park: Invasion of the Idiots.”
Jen Mignard told Cowboy State Daily on Saturday that she created the poster because she thought it would be a “pretty humorous joke” and was surprised that anyone took it seriously.
“It just goes to show that idiots abound,” Mignard said with a laugh. “Our group has been infiltrated by the people we’re showcasing.”
She may have a point. There are clues on the flyer which should give it away as a joke.
First, there’s the event itself. One might think that’s enough.
If not, well, the date of fictitious event doesn’t exist — June 31.
It also states that her Facebook page (Invasion of the Idiots) is sponsoring the event and then there is the actual photo — clearly photoshopped.
Regardless, it’s just another day for her four-person team who moderate the page and nothing, she said, is really is that shocking to any of them.
Invasion of the Idiots
Mignard said she created the group back in 2016 as sort of an emotional support group for “locals who have to deal with the fallout of tourists and the asinine things that they sometimes do.”
“It was right after that guy had gone for a dip in the one of the thermal pools and all they ever found was his watch,” she said.
It was the same year, Mignard said, where a tourist thought a baby bison was cold and put it in the back of his car.
“It was just constant that year,” she said.
The page has grown from 15 members in 2016 to more than 52,000 now and it continues to grow.
As for the Motorized Cooler Bear Run? Mignard said expect more fictitious events to occur later this year.
“We have more events planned for the future,” she said, mentioning a possible “running of the bisons” coming up soon.
“We’ll keep you apprised,” she said.
In the meantime, anyone wanting to participate in the fake bear run needs to be aware that, according to the rules on the flyer, participants need to bring their own motorized cooler although rentals will be available on a first-come, first served basis.