black bears

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Bears emerging from dens across Yellowstone region

A few grizzly bears have been spotted emerging from hibernation in Yellowstone National Park.

Grizzly bears are emerging from hibernation in the greater Yellowstone area, so hikers, skiers and snowshoers should stay in groups of three of more, make noise on the trail, and carry bear spray. Bear spray is a good last line of defense, if kept handy and used according to directions, when a bear is approaching within 30 to 60 feet. The first confirmed report of grizzly bear activity in Yellowstone National Park was February 22. Wolf biologists observed a large grizzly bear in the Nez Perce drainage. Continue Reading →

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Scenic Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton re-opens to vehicles

The Moose-Wilson Road connecting Grand Teton National Park and Wilson, Wyo., will soon close for the season. (File photo by Acroterion/Wikimedia Commons - click to enlarge)

The Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton National Park has re-opened after black bear activity on the road has subsided. Through traffic on the scenic road had been halted to allow for bear activity in the area. Grand Teton National Park managers initiated a temporary closure of the road on September 9. After several patrols of the road in the last 24 hours indicated that bear activity had substantially decreased, managers made the decision to re-open the road. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone stresses wildlife safety during fall

Yellowstone National Park officials are reminding visitors to keep their distance from elk and other wildlife as fall approaches.

Following a summer that brought at lest five visitor injuries resulting from getting too close to bison, as well as the death of a hiker from an encounter with a mother grizzly and cubs, officials in Yellowstone National Park are stressing safety around wildlife as the fall season approaches. As summer winds down and cooler temperatures start to spread across the high country of Yellowstone, some wildlife in the park begin migrating, while others stock up on extra food to pack on the pounds before winter. Elk begin their fall rut, and will soon be vying for the attention of the females by bugling and sparing with other males. In many areas of the park, but especially around Mammoth Hot Springs, the bull elk become more aggressive toward both people and vehicles, and can be a threat to both people and property, according to a statement released by the park’s public affairs office. Elk damage several vehicles every year, and on occasion charge and injure visitors. Continue Reading →

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Black bears on bridge too close for comfort

The latest viral video out of Yellowstone National Park is a great reminder of why you should stay 100 yards from bears, and exercise special caution around bridges, rivers and other places where moving around gets riskier and more difficult. The video shows a black bear with cubs running around amidst several tourists on a bridge between Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo. and Cooke City, Mont. A worker with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks posted the video on YouTube, and it has received more than 220,000 views as of Monday afternoon. Continue Reading →

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Bears prompt temporary closure of scenic Grand Teton road

A temporary closure of the Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton National Park went into effect Wednesday, September 10, at 11 a.m. due to grizzly bear activity both on and near the roadway. In the coming weeks, visitors and local residents may encounter intermittent closures of the Moose-Wilson Road as bears (black and grizzly) seek out the abundant berries on the chokecherry and hawthorn bushes that flank this park road. Continue Reading →

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Canadian expert on human-bear conflicts to give four talks in greater Yellowstone area

Police Officer Christopher Pekema, from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, in Washington state, right, holds on to Mishka, a Karelian bear dog, as Washington Fish and Wildlife officials release a black bear Aug. 3, 2011, in a remote area of the Cascade Range.

Honeyman will discuss lessons learned from innovative work with grizzly bears in Alberta, including aversive conditioning, managing waste and other attractants, herd and flock management practices to reduce livestock predation, and use of deterrents. He will also cover the use of Karelian bear dogs in deterring bears. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone bear biologist debunks myth that menstruating women attract bears

There is no evidence linking menstruation to any of the nine attacks on women in Yellowstone National Park since 1980. (USFWS photo - click to enlarge)

A report by a Yellowstone National Park bear specialist allaying misplaced concerns that menstruating women might be at greater risk of bear attack has been drawing headlines this month, perhaps as much for its unusual subject matter as for its findings. The report states that "there is no evidence that grizzly and black bears are overly attracted to menstrual odors more than any other odor." Continue Reading →

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Scenic Grand Teton road section closed after close calls between bears, people

The Moose-Wilson Road connecting Grand Teton National Park and Wilson, Wyo., will soon close for the season. (File photo by Acroterion/Wikimedia Commons - click to enlarge)

A section of a popular scenic drive between Grand Teton National Park and Teton Village, Wyo. has been temporarily closed as a precautionary measure after close encounters between wildlife watchers and foraging grizzly bears. The Moose-Wilson Road, connecting the village of Moose, Wyo. in Grand Teton to Teton Village and Wilson, Wyo. was closed Thursday until mid-day Saturday, according to a statement released by the Grand Teton public affairs office. Continue Reading →

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Grand Teton warns visitors to avoid bear trapping areas, follow bear safety rules

A tranquilized grizzly bear lies in a trap similar to those used for research studies or for capturing and relocating problem bears around the greater Yellowstone area.

Grand Teton National Park managers are warning visitors to steer clear of trap sites this summer where bears are being captured as part of ongoing bear management operations, and to follow basic rules for staying safe in bear country. A small number of "nuisance bears" throughout Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway may be captured for relocation or to be euthanized, according to a statement released by the park's public affairs office. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone wildlife watchers know spring is prime time for spotting babies


Yellowstone wildlife watchers cherish spring and early summer as a prime time to see baby animals with their mothers. More than 60 different species of mammals live in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, and they typically give birth in time for their young to take advantage of summer's bounty. Late May and early June can be a great time to spot Grand Teton and Yellowstone wildlife caring for their young. But photographers and wildlife watchers should take extra care to avoid getting too close to baby animals. Mothers of all kinds — from bears to birds — will zealously defend their young. Getting too close can stress the babies and prompt an aggressive defense from parents or other members of a group. Continue Reading →

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