Illinois is done with shenanigans when it comes to it's residents and wild animals.

It should be common sense to not get close to any kind of potentially dangerous animal, even for the 'gram. All the time we see stories of people getting gored by a buffalo in Yellowstone or a national park because they just had to get that selfie.


This should obviously be a bad idea and park rangers all the time ask the public to not take selfies with wild animals (they're wild predators, y'all). The state of Illinois is asking it's residents to do the same, starting in 2024.

Illinois' New 'Wild Animal Public Safety Act'


According to the new Illinois law, which goes into effect on January 1st, 2024:

it is unlawful for any person to allow any member of the public to come into direct contact with a bear or nonhuman primate

"Direct contact" is defined by the law as "physical contact or proximity where physical contact is possible". So like where you would be if you took a selfie with it (bears can reach you in less than 2 seconds if charging full speed).

Now, there are exceptions. You can still look at the animal through a zoo divider, or through a permanent barrier and law enforcement can take necessary steps if there's a wild animal encounter to ensure safety.

But I Really Want The Selfie.

If you're just determined to risk it for the biscuit for those 17 likes, it's a Class B misdemeanor for breaking this law. In Illinois, according to a law firm, that sentencing can carry 180 days in jail and a fine of $1,500.

If you were thinking about trying to get a selfie with a wild animal in Illinois or not, just don't, unless it's behind zoo glass. It's not a teddy bear or stuffed animal. Stick to selfies with the pretty, non-dangerous scenery.

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