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Signs of Bear Activity in Yellowstone

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Date: March 11, 2008
Contact: Al Nash or Stacy Vallie, 307-344-2015

National Park Service

U.S. Department of the Interior

 

Yellowstone National Park

P.O. Box 168

Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

                 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 11, 2008    08-015

Al Nash or Stacy Vallie (307) 344-2015

 

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YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK NEWS RELEASE

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Signs Of Bear Activity In Yellowstone

 

As the snow melts and spring begins to emerge, so do bears from their dens. Tracks from an unknown species of bear were discovered near a bison carcass in the central portion of the park over the weekend. 

 

Soon after emerging from their dens, bears begin looking for food. Bears are attracted to elk and bison that have died over the winter. Elk and bison are such a prized source of food that bears will aggressively defend these carcasses. Anyone disturbing a bear feeding on a carcass puts themselves at serious risk for injury.

 

Park regulations require you to stay a hundred yards from black and grizzly bears at all times. The best defense is to stay a safe distance from bears and use your binoculars, telescope, or telephoto lens to get a closer look. Hikers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers are encouraged to travel in groups of three or more, make noise on the trail, and keep an eye out for bears. Bear pepper spray has proven to be a good last line of defense if you keep it handy and use it according to directions when the bear is within 30 to 40 feet.

 

Yellowstone National Park has several seasonal Bear Management Area closures designed to reduce encounters with bears in areas that have a high density of elk and bison carcasses. These closures help prevent human/bear conflicts and provide areas where bears can roam free from human disturbance. Prior to hiking, skiing, or snowshoeing in the park, visit http://www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/bearclosures.htm or inquire at park visitor centers for dates and locations of bear closure areas.

 

Visitors are also reminded to keep food, garbage, barbecue grills and other attractants stored in hard-sided vehicles or bear-proof food storage boxes. This helps keep bears from becoming conditioned to human foods, and helps keep park visitors and their property safe.

 

Bear sightings should be reported to the nearest visitor center or ranger station as soon as possible.

 

-www.nps.gov/yell -

Did You Know?

Bear Cubs

Even though the animals of Yellowstone seem tame they are still wild. Feeding the animals is not permitted in any way, and all visitors must keep 100 yards away from wolves and bears, and 25 yards from other animals.