Bears are common in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and should be considered "wild" animals.

NPS Photo

What kind of bear did you see? Both grizzly bears and black bears live in the park and parkway. Color is misleading - both species can vary from blonde-black. Watch our video podcast to test your knowledge.

If you see a bear, please report it to the nearest visitor center or ranger station. Bear Sighting and Incident Report


Outline of a Black Bear's body.

NPS Photo

BLACK BEAR Ursus americanus

  • No distinctive shoulder hump
  • Face profile is straight from nose to tip of ears
  • Ears are tall and pointed
  • Front claws are short and curved (1"-2" long)

Learn more: Wikipedia>American Black Bear


Outline of a Grizzly Bear's body.

NPS Photo

GRIZZLY BEAR Ursus arctos horribilis

  • Distinctive shoulder hump
  • Face profile appears dished in
  • Ears are short and rounded
  • Front claws are long and less curved (2"-4" long)

Learn more: Wikipedia>Grizzly Bear


For annual briefs with updated wildlife status information visit the Greater Yellowstone Science and Learning Center.

To purchase books about bears or other wildlife, please visit the Grand Teton Association.

Never approach a bear.
Never feed a bear.
Stay 100 yards (1 football field) from bears at all times.

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