After a bear cub was killed in Yosemite National Park at the hands of a speeding motorist, a ranger took to the park's official Facebook page and not only posted a lengthy, detailed description of the tragedy, but included a photo of the tragic aftermath too.
Not surprisingly, many people who have seen the now-viral post are having trouble keeping it all together.
Clearly meant to be a public service announcement for all prospective visitors to Yosemite, the ranger began by highlighting the upsetting repetition they've dealt with.
"We get this call a lot. Too much, to be honest. 'Bear hit by vehicle, dead on the side of the road.' Sadly, it's become routine."
The ranger walked readers through it all. They explained they received a call and drove an hour to the scene.
They described the things they noticed as they neared the site.
"Then something catches my eye. It's small and artificial, and laying in the middle of the road. As I walk closer, I see that it's a broken shapeless car part, likely from an undercarriage. More cars whiz past."
"I turn my gaze from the car part down the embankment on the side of the road and there it is. A cub. Its tiny light brown body laying just feet from me and the road, nearly invisible to every passerby."
"It's a new cub—couldn't be much more than six months old, now balled up and lifeless under a small pine tree. For a moment I lose track of time as I stand there staring at its tiny body, but then the sound of more cars whizzing by reminds me of my place and my role."
"I let out a deep sigh and continue on with my task."
When the ranger noticed a mother bear calling for the cub, now dead, the ranger was filled with the gravity of what happened.
"My heart sinks. It's been nearly six hours and she still hasn't given up on her cub. I can just imagine how many times she darted back and forth on that road in attempts to wake it. It's extremely lucky that she wasn't hit as well."
"The calls to the cub continue, sounding more pained each time. I glance back finding myself hoping it would respond to her call too, but of course, nothing. Now here I am, standing between a grieving mother and her child. I feel like a monster."
After the description, the ranger included a photo of that mother bear standing over her killed baby cub.
And they explained exactly why they did it.
"Quickly, I set up a remote camera. Why? Every year we report the number of bears that get hit by vehicles, but numbers don't always paint a picture."
"I want people to see what I saw: the sad reality behind each of these numbers."
People who heard about the story, and saw the photo, were gutted.
According to the National Park Service, eight bears have already been killed by motorists this year.
A variety of wildlife are killed or injured by park visitors every year.
Hopefully the ranger's post will be enough to keep that number where it is for the remainder of the year.