There is a video of a cub trying to follow the mother bear up a steep snowbank and then rolling back down at first.

People are saying that it's a cute video but that the drone that filmed it got too close the bears.

There are guidelines for how close one can get to an animal to prevent harassment, what are the guidelines for drones?

  • 3
    In the US, the national parks and monuments that I know of ban drones period.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 15:07
  • 1
    Some locations/countries it is not recommended/legal to go to close to wild animals for the animals safety so I imagine this may vary if the country you're in is a bit of a git with wildlifes well-being - interesting read nonetheless from the UK: findingnature.co.uk/drones-near-wildlife - also bear in mind what time of year you can go near wildlife in general
    – Aravona
    Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 15:13
  • and also consider that animals usually have better hearing than humans, and are more likely to hear the drone from a farther distance than a human would do.
    – Akabelle
    Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 14:49

2 Answers 2


Seems there is a lot of research done. I found this article which cites a lot of interesting resources. I could not retrieve precise numbers. They published a code of best practice, but they say also that "It advocates the precautionary principle in lieu of sufficient evidence, encouraging researchers to recognise that wildlife responses are varied, can be hard to detect, and could have severe consequences.". Also, if I were to apply the precautionary principle, I would consider that animals have a better hearing than humans do, and are more aware of their surroundings.


It will depend on your location and the animal.

The rules for how close to get to an animal aren't just to prevent bothering the animal but also to help ensure the safety of the people. An animal may charge if you get too close and feels threatened. In the case of bears and other predators, the animal has to be dispatched if it attacks a person. Preventing these situations is ideal for all parties involved.

As for the drone, it will depend on where you are. As mentioned in the comments, drones are prohibited in national parks and monuments. States will also have different rules. So those rules and regulations are a good start.

Beyond those considerations, I would say trying to not disturb animals with the drone would be a good guideline. If the animal flees from the drone, don't chase it. Be respectful and minimize your impact. Individual animals are going to react differently so just maintain your distance and try to avoid disturbing them too much.

  • I did not -1, but the only thing that actually answers the question here is "They are prohibited in national parks, and states have their own rules so look them up." The first 2 paragraphs are about a different (though related) topic, but yes they make a fine Segway here into this topic. The last paragraph essentially restates the question. OP probably cannot judge the video in question any better now than he could before asking.
    – Loduwijk
    Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 19:16
  • @Aaron thanks for the comment. But the question wasn't about judging the video, rather for guidelines in making similar ones.
    – user16724
    Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 19:23

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