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SYFY WIRE Cocaine Bear

Park Service warns not to 'push a slower friend down’ if you see a bear (coked up or otherwise)

In lieu of Cocaine Bear, the National Park Service wants you to watch your back (and your slow friend's).

By Gina Salamone
Cocaine Bear (2023)

While the real-life events that inspired the horror-comedy Cocaine Bear are greatly exaggerated in the film, the National Park Service wants you to know that all bears should be taken seriously. And the federal government agency that oversees bear-packed parks like Yellowstone and the Great Smoky Mountains is doing so with a bit of humor.

"If you come across a bear, never push a slower friend down ... even if you feel the friendship has run its course," the National Park Service tweeted last week. It added in a follow-up post: "Seeing a bear in the wild is a special treat for any visitor to a national park. While it is an exciting moment, it is important to remember that bears in national parks are wild and can be dangerous."

RELATED: 'Cocaine Bear' VFX supervisor says building movie's drug-addled predator 'almost felt like a prank'

More than a few people in the comments section felt compelled to bring up Cocaine Bear, the Universal Pictures flick that opened on Feb. 24 and scored $23 million at the North American box office on opening weekend, tearing past initial projections of $15 to $17 million. Around the world, it totaled $28.3 million on its debut weekend. By its second weekend, Cocaine Bear made more than $52 million worldwide, soaring past its budget of $30 to $35 million. 

The official Cocaine Bear Twitter account quote-tweeted the post from the National Park Service, writing a simple, "what about cocaine bear." 

The cast of the Elizabeth Banks-directed film includes Keri Russell, O'Shea Jackson, Jr., Ray Liotta, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and more. It's very loosely based on a real-life 1985 incident in Georgia in which an American black bear died after ingesting cocaine from a duffle bag that was dropped out of a plane by a drug smuggler. The bear was found dead three months later beside dozens of open cocaine containers. 

In the film, the bear gets to have a lot more fun, going on a gory killing spree that makes for some creative deaths, from a drug dealer getting disemboweled to an ambulance driver getting thrown through a windshield. 

The National Park Service also seems to be having some fun, as this isn't the only time it has added humor to social media posts about the animals that occupy the parks. "Hello from the otter slide.⁣⁣ I must've slid a thousand times," the agency's account tweeted Friday, referencing the Adele song, "Hello," while including a video of river otters sliding down a snowbank onto ice at Yellowstone.

But in all seriousness, the National Park Service did follow up its bear tweet with a link to some actual, helpful bear safety tips, what with spring being almost here and bears becoming more active as the snow melts. Among those tips — "Do NOT drop your pack." Pay attention, drug smugglers. 

Cocaine Bear is in theaters now. Click here to purchase tickets!

Craving more creature-based horror films? Jordan Peele's Nope is currently streaming on Peacock.