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Bear hibernates in Yellowstone, officials warn visitors : Animal : Natural World News

Yellowstone’s bears are no longer hibernating, so park visitors are advised to take all necessary precautions.

Park officials reported seeing the first grizzly bear waking from hibernation Tuesday, making March 7 the first bear of the season for the second year in a row.

A wildlife biologist saw the bear this year during a radio telemetry flight. Based on that observation, officials estimated the grizzly weighed between 300 and 350 pounds. Officials said the adult bear, who was found near the bison carcass in Pelican Valley, was likely a male because females and cubs don’t typically emerge until April and May, officials said.

Seeing the first grizzly of the year can be exciting, but it also means visitors should be more careful when entering any part of the park, national park service reports.

When bears emerge from hibernation, they forage for food and often eat elk and bison that died over the winter, according to the NPS. While consuming carcasses, bears have occasionally exhibited aggressive behavior when interacting with humans.

park visitor warning

The National Park Service issued a warning last week about the onset of spring and the awakening of wildlife from hibernation. Warmer weather heralds that bears will soon be roaming the countryside again, so people should be prepared in case they come face-to-face.

Kerry Gunther, a bear management biologist at Yellowstone National Park, urges spring visitors to Yellowstone to carry bear spray and to be extra cautious when snowshoeing, skiing or hiking in areas where early spring greening has begun. When grizzly bears wake up from hibernation, these are the first things they look for.

Bears are said to be preparing for hibernation in late November yellowstone national park, based on snowfall, temperature, and food availability. In Yellowstone National Park, the ascent period lasts about five months.

In mid to late March, male grizzly bears wake up from hibernation. Females with young appear in early to mid-May. Bears may emerge from hibernation in January or February after an unseasonably warm winter.

Also read: Siberian permafrost preserved 3,500-year-old ethereal brown bear until herders discovered it

The bear is now hibernating

It is recommended that people stay at least 100 yards away from black and grizzly bears at all times.

If you find yourself closer to bears than other visitors, there are steps you can take.

Although the NPS states that pushing slower people over when encountering a bear is something people should “never” do.

The best course of action is to hike in groups, stay alert, and stay out of bear-infested areas. Visitors to national parks are advised to carry bear spray that is EPA-approved and easily accessible by the National Park Service.

Later, the service emphasized that while attacks are uncommon, they do happen.

According to the park service, the two most important things for visitors to remember is to keep your distance from bears and not startle them. Most bears will run away from them if they hear someone coming. Following some basic rules can reduce the danger. A bear’s ability to remain calm may determine a person’s safety, cbs news reports.

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