On March 15th the year 2017, a park ranger spotted a grizzly bear between Tower-Roosevelt and Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park. Later in the same day, park rangers would witness two bears foraging carcasses in the northern region of the park. Earlier in February, some park employees had observed bear tracks in the same park.
Usually, when bears come out of hibernation, they do so in search of food and will likely feed on bison and elk that could have died during the winter. Park rangers advice that bears can sometimes become aggressive when feeding on the remains. Since Yellowstone National Park is popular for bear population, the park gives guidelines to individuals in the bear country that would help them stay safe while in the park. These include:
- Preparing adequately for an encounter with a bear
- Individuals are advised to carry bear spray at all times and learn how to use it incase of an emergency.
- One should always be alert when venturing in the park.
- Individuals are advised to never hike alone.
Groups of three or more are ideal. Hikers should also stay on adequately maintained trails and avoid making noise during their hike. Individuals are also highly advised against hiking at dawn, dusk or in the night. The safest time to hike is during the day.
Should you encounter a bear, do not run.
- While at the park, you should use a telescope, binoculars or telephoto lens if you want to get a good look at the bear. One should never get more than 100 yards close to the bear.
- All food, grills, garbage and items should be stored in bear-proof storage containers.
- All individuals interested in spending time at the part are advised to learn as much as they possibly can on bear safety.
Yellowstone is bear country and rather than shy away from the bears, visitors at the park are advised to carry bear spray on them all the time as it’s the safest way to protect oneself without causing harm on the bears.
Park rangers at the park are always on the look out to ensure that those visiting the park do not discharge their firearms as it is illegal. Although individuals are allowed to carry firearms to the park, discharging a firearm goes against park regulations and one could get in a lot of trouble by going against this law.
From March 10th, park rangers also started restricting activities in specific areas that have high populations of bison and elk carcasses because inevitably, such areas attract a lot of bears. Park rangers are highly skilled on how to handle bear attacks on themselves or on visitors at the park. When trying to rescue an individual from a bear attack, the park ranger inevitably exposes themselves to harm but it is their duty and responsibility to learn how to deal with the situation without harming either the individual under attack or the bear itself.