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Tourists flood Khao Yai Park after viral video of curious bear

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PHOTO: A video of an Asian black bear went viral, attracting crowds to Khao Yai Park. (via Facebook screenshot)

Attendance at Khao Yai National Park has boomed so much thanks to a viral video that they are now having to limit the number of people who can visit. People were drawn to the park after a video was posted to Facebook showing an Asian black bear visiting a food stall in the park attempting to eat an omelette and other food on the counter.

After “Khao Yai Fever” trended on social media when the video of the curious and hungry bear went viral, people were curious about the bear, but also taken by the natural beauty of the scenic views, especially visible from the food stall where the video was shot, flocked to the national park causing officials to worry that the crowds could result in a Covid-19 outbreak.

To try to reduce the risk of Covid-19, park officials have limited the number of tourists allowed into the park, especially at Pha Trom Jai Cliff, the site of the food stall where the viral video took place. The chief of the park said that it made the move to limit visitors to the cliff after seeing a sharp increase in tourists attracted to the site.

The park has now instituted a policy to allow a maximum of 30 private cars, 50 motorcycles, and 30 bicycles per round Monday through Friday. On weekends and public holidays which usually see an influx of visitors, the park’s opening hours were divided into five times slots which park officials can evaluate and decide at any given point how many vehicles would be allowed in during each time slot.

Khao Yai, a few hours northeast of Bangkok and featured in the movie “The Beach” is a forest and grassland park spanning 2,000 square kilometres. It is known for its 50 kilometres of hiking and biking trails and beautiful waterfalls.

The bear made famous in the viral video posted to Facebook could not be reached at this time for comment.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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