Not only does Spring bring forth rain showers, longer days and beautiful flowers, it’s also the time the bears start to awaken from their long winter’s nap. A 300-pound grizzly has been reported stretching his legs and getting ready to find some food for his empty belly.
The bear reported having been spotted during a radio telemetry flight by the National Park Service news release stated the bear had been near a bison carcass in Yellowstone’s Pelican Valley on March 7 – the exact day as last year’s sighting.
Male grizzlies come out of hibernation in early March. Females with cubs emerge in April and early May. When bears emerge from hibernation, they look for food and often feed on elk and bison that died over the winter. Sometimes, bears will react aggressively to encounters with people when feeding on carcasses.
And because there always seem to be tourists who think they can pet a grizzly or take a selfie, let’s go over the measures to keep both humans and bears safe.
- Prepare for a bear encounter.
- Carry bear spray, know how to use it, and make sure it’s accessible.
- Stay alert.
- Hike or ski in groups of three or more, stay on maintained trails, and make noise. Avoid hiking at dusk, dawn, or at night.
- Do not run if you encounter a bear.
- Stay 100 yards (91 m) away from black and grizzly bears. Approaching bears within 100 yards is prohibited. Use binoculars, a telescope, or telephoto lens to get a closer look.
- Store food, garbage, barbecue grills, and other attractants in hard-sided vehicles or bear-proof food storage boxes.
- Report bear sightings and encounters to a park ranger immediately.
- Learn more about bear safety.
The park restricts certain visitor activities in locations where there is a high density of bears, along with elk and bison carcasses. Restrictions will begin in some bear management areas on March 10.
Please note – while firearms are allowed in the park, the discharge of a firearm by visitors is a violation of park regulations.
(Photo: No actual photos of the bear at Yellowstone)
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