We have our first 2020 Yellowstone bear sighting, as on Saturday a grizzly bear was observed from the air by biologists during a radio telemetry flight near Grand Prismatic Spring.
The first 2020 Yellowstone bear sighting on March 7 comes just one day before last year’s first sighting.
Male grizzlies come out of hibernation in early March. Females with cubs emerge in April and early May. When bears emerge from hibernation, they look for food and often feed on elk and bison that died over the winter. Sometimes, bears will react aggressively while feeding on carcasses.
“Now that bears are emerging from winter dens, visitors should be excited for the chance to view and photograph them, but they should also treat bears with respect and caution,” said Kerry Gunther, the park’s bear management biologist, in an NPS release. “Many visitors think bears are ravenously hungry and more likely to attack people for food after emerging from hibernation, but almost all bear attacks result from surprise encounters when hikers startle bears at close distances and the bears react with defensive aggression. Hikers, skiers, and snowshoers should travel in groups of three or more, carry bear spray, and make noise.”
So, be on official notice that you should be prepared should you enjoy Yellowstone in the final days of the winter season.
No, that’s not the grizzly bear in question at the top of this article; it’s an NPS photo from 2016.