The first bear of the season has been spotted in Yellowstone National Park!
According to a Yellowstone press release, a park employee spotted a grizzly bear roaming between Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower-Roosevelt early his morning. Later in the day, park staff witnessed two grizzlies scavenging carcasses in the northern part of Yellowstone.
The news comes after bear management restrictions went into effect March 10.
The release adds that tracks have been spotted since February 22, although not the bear(s) that made them.
Last year, the first Yellowstone bear out of hibernation was spotted February 26.
As more bears start emerging from their dens, visitors should be cautious while hiking and traveling around the Park. Bears are quite hungry after sleeping through the winter months and will feast on carcasses with gusto—sometimes reacting aggressively to perceived tresspassers.
While traveling in bear country, please take the following precautions, as outline in the Yellowstone press release:
• 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.
• Learn more about bear safety.
“Yellowstone visitors care deeply about preserving bears and observing them in the wild,” says Kerry Gunther, the park’s Bear Management Specialist. “Carrying bear spray is the best way for them to participate in bear conservation because reducing potential conflicts protects both people and bears.”
Visitors are reminded that discharging firearms is prohibited in Yellowstone National Park.
If you see a bear in Yellowstone National Park, please report it to a park ranger immediately. Further, do not get closer than 100 yards to any Yellowstone bears.