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Bear Management Biologist Kerry Gunther and Park Ranger John Kerr describe some best practices for handling these potentially dangerous situations.
Yellowstone offers some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in North America, if not the world. Without fences to limit movements, animals can decide where they want to go...as long as people give them space and the right-of-way.
Bears often grow accustomed to people and feed in roadside meadows with hundreds of people watching and taking pictures. Park rangers try to manage these situations, but it happens too frequently for us to be present all the time. If you stop to watch a roadside bear in Yellowstone, you have a responsibility to behave in a way that doesn’t put people, or the bear, at risk.
We realize sharing a landscape with wild animals is unfamiliar to many people, so here are some guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:
Camp in Bear Country
Tips to keep bears and people safe.
Hike in Bear Country
Best practices for safely exploring the park.
Learn about this highly effective bear deterrent.
How you react to a bear encounter depends on the circumstances.
Bear Management Areas
Restrictions to reduce encounters between humans and bears.
Best practices for traveling safely in bear country.
Last updated: August 2, 2021