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Bear Watching Mayhem In Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks

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Judging from this photo (yes, that's a grizzly), and the accompanying video, is it any wonder there are bear-human conflicts in the national parks?

Editor's note: Bears in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks have been in the news a bit this summer, both because of their behavior and the behavior of tourists watching the bears. The following column, which Todd Wilkinson posted on his Wildlife Art Journal site the other day, will have you scratching your head over how there haven't been more bear-human incidents this summer.

There has been a debate raging this summer in the northern Rockies over restrictions placed on how people should be allowed to observe wildlife in national parks.  Given the enormous popularity of two mother grizzly bears and cubs in Grand Teton National Park—and huge crowds gathered along the roadside—stipulations were put in place that require people to stay at least 100 yards away from bruins at all times.

What it means is that if a bear indicates that it wishes to approach the roadside or cross to the other side, people need to move.  This has caused a backlash from professional wildlife photographers.

While the vast, vast majority of park visitors are well behaved, there are always defiant individuals who venture too close, throw food to wildlife or simply behave cluelessly.

Fortunately, grizzlies exhibit a high level of tolerance.  In this video, passed along by Yellowstone officials, one doesn't need an active imagination to recognize what could go wrong were a bruin to suddenly act aggressively.  NOTE:  After you watch this video, click on the corresponding 24-second footage titled "man photographing grizzly bear mother and two cubs."  The level of  stupidity will take your breath away.

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Comments

WELL, in this INCIDENT, at least SOME LAW ENFORCEMENT RANGER did not

appear to TASER the GRIZZ, Protecting the People from the Park as they like

to justify. Imagine, how many GRIZZ have been killed by the NPS over the decades

after ignoring the Craighead Brothers recommendations NOT to close the YELL DUMPS

IMMEDIATELY, food waste DUMPS, the NPS supported, with earlier FEEDING the BEARS

as Public Entertainment. Now, had this GRIZZ dared scratch an adult or child, NPS

would have been there justifying shooting the GRIZZ. This is why WILDERNESS AREAS

HELP PROTECT THREATENED/ENDANGERED SPECIES vs. the Disneyland National Park

version of petting zoos.


Maybe it's because people have been disconnected from nature for ever and have no clue as to how it's supposed to work.


y_p_w is correct Jack. This is Yellowstone near Mt Washburn and that is a griz!


Jack:
This was not a scene from Yellowstone Park. I am very familiar with all parts of this park and there is no place with that kind of background structure, fenced in bears and deciduous trees. This is clearly a video from one of those "animal parks" where people can drive in and see the bears walking around their vehicles. It's not Yellowstone, folks! This may have been the kind of scene in Yellowstone 50-60 years ago...... but black bears don't nuzzle cars there today. Any "friendly acting" bear is either hauled far into the back country or destroyed..... period. No more "tame" roadside bears are eating peanut butter sandwiches. Yes, bears, even grizzlies, do forage beside park roads.... and sometimes walk right across roads between cars. But tame bears like these? No Way!

Tame? That's no tame bear, and it's not a black bear either. It's simply unconcerned with all the people crowding around it. Disinterested is not the same as tame.

This doesn't appear to be anything but what the author claims it to be - video footage taken on the Grand Loop Road near Mt Washburn.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITy-TIjqYmI
http://www.nbcmontana.com/Some-Wonder-Why-Yellowstone-s-Bear-Policy-Diff...


This was not a scene from Yellowstone Park. I am very familiar with all parts of this park and there is no place with that kind of background structure, fenced in bears and deciduous trees. This is clearly a video from one of those "animal parks" where people can drive in and see the bears walking around their vehicles. It's not Yellowstone, folks! This may have been the kind of scene in Yellowstone 50-60 years ago...... but black bears don't nuzzle cars there today. Any "friendly acting" bear is either hauled far into the back country or destroyed..... period. No more "tame" roadside bears are eating peanut butter sandwiches. Yes, bears, even grizzlies, do forage beside park roads.... and sometimes walk right across roads between cars. But tame bears like these? No Way!


We just returned from Yellowstone on Sunday and I couldn't believe the people from Asia and Germany who really think these animals won't hurt them. We were on a mud pot trail when a bus of Asian people exited and went up the path , within ten feet of bison who were eating. I couldn't believe the bison didn't charge a young man. Knowledge about wild life is missing. I can't believe more people aren't killed here every year. The stampede of people running with cameras if their is a sighting of an animal is scary. These people act like these animals are rock stars. The landscape in beautiful just feel lucky if you see wildlife from your car. Enjoy the beauty of the park and let the animals live in peace.


The Darwin Principle at its best!


Park officials need to impose some very STIFF fines for people who exit their vehicles when wildlife(griz, black bear, elk, bison) are about. As someone said, the cameras do have a zoom option. These animals are under enough stress without some idiots adding to the problem!! Many times, when a grizzly is taken down it includes not only the sow, but her cubs. They end up in zoos. We should be able to act responsibly and prevent this from happening. In Canada, their Parks are for the resource(animals), not the people. Maybe we could adopt that philosophy too???


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