Watch a Bear Being Swept Over a Waterfall In Yellowstone

Written by Angie Menjivar
Updated: September 7, 2022
Image Credit Antoni Murcia/
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In Yellowstone, there exist two bear species: black bears and grizzly bears. This area is known for its bear sightings, and many people flock to it to catch a glimpse of these large creatures.

This video starts off with a grizzly bear approaching a river from a rocky area. The onlookers can be heard shouting about where it’s located, in an attempt to help fellow onlookers spot it themselves.

The grizzly emerges more clearly as it approaches the water and a woman can be heard saying “Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah!” as she spots the bear herself.

The bear takes a small jump into the rushing water, getting submerged for a microsecond, and the crowd behind the cameraman squeals excitedly. The bear continues into the water, trying to swim across the river to the other side.

“Good boy,” says the cameraman as if he were speaking to a domesticated pup.

The currents are quite strong, and you can see that the bear, though able to swim, is coming closer to the cameraman, with the flow of the water, instead of making its way across the river.

The grizzly continues its swim forward, toward the other side of the river and the cameraman keeps his camera zoomed in on the bear.

“No, he’s not going to go over the waterfall,” he says to someone concerned about that outcome.

The bear continues swimming toward the left as the current continues toward the cameraman. At one point, the bear turns to its right to face the current head-on for a second before turning back to where it came from, apparently trying to figure out the best course of action. It decides it’s too far into the river to turn back now.

And it also seems to know it’s in a bit of trouble.

It continues making its way forward, and you can see a large portion of its back as if it is able to touch the bottom of the river. It looks to be in running mode, trying to make it across before the current pushes it over the waterfall.

“No, he’ll be alright,” says the cameraman again just as the bear gets swept into the waterfall. The cameraman had apparently only kept his eye on the zoomed-in view of the camera, failing to see just how close the grizzly was to the fall.

The bear falls into the plunge pool of the waterfall, where the cascading waters land.

The bear, demonstrating its strong swimming skills, keeps its head above water despite the fall, and continues to swim toward land. The water currents are strong and push the bear downstream even further.

A few quiet moments ensue as the crowd watches the bear struggle a bit. Finally, it catches its footing and approaches a rocky area where it emerges and shakes itself off.

Do Grizzly Bears Know How To Swim?

Yes! Due to their high body fat content and oily coat, grizzly bears are efficient swimmers. They paddle with their front paws much like a dog. Bears are often seen swimming between islands that are up to 1 mile apart. Grizzly bears are great divers too, sometimes diving as deep as 10 feet to catch fish for dinner. Grizzly bears are not as comfortable in the water as Polar bears, and they don’t venture into deep water for recreation, but if they are hungry, they will go out of their comfort zone in search of underwater snacks.

Grizzly is no match for river currents at Yellowstone National Park.

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About the Author

Angie is a writer with over 10 years of experience developing content for product and brand reviews, focusing much of her time on animals of all types. A cat owner herself, she enjoys writing articles on beloved pets that both inform and entertain her audience.

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