MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. – Staff at Yellowstone National Park saw the park’s first grizzly bears of the season this past week.
An 11-year-old male was seen March 6 wearing a radio collar in the west-central part of the park, and another grizzly was seen in the east-central section of the park the next day, according to a Tuesday release from the park.
Male grizzlies typically come out of hibernation in mid-to-late March, and females with cubs emerge a month or two later, park officials said. Bears typically look for food after emerging from hibernation and feed on elk and bison that died over the winter.
- 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 away from black and grizzly bears. 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.