Yellowstone bears and people

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YELLOWSTONE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Yellowstone bears are out attracting thousands of visitors this time of year. Most people are concerned about the threat bears pose to humans. But, humans are threatening bears by getting too close, and possibly feeding them. .

Photo courtesy: Yellowstone National Park/Kenneth Carothers

A cinnamon colored black bear was photographed leaning on a car in the Tower area May 11.
Another black bear that had been fed by people in the Mammoth area stood up against another car, and looked into the window.

A light colored grizzly called Snow by area photographers, played with a car’s antennae near the Park’s east entrance last fall. That kind of behavior could kill the bear.

Yellowstone Bear Manager Eric Reinertson said, “Once a bear gets food, and starts approaching people, and gets aggressive, usually the bear’s gonna lose, and that means we have to remove it, euthanize.”

Reinertson said the light colored grizzly seen near Yellowstone Lake has approached cars several times

He remarked, “It’s a four and a half year old female, and she has approached vehicles and put her paws up on there.

He said they are trying to teach her to stay away from people, cars, and the very busy road from Fishing Bridge .

He said they use, “Vehicle pressure, airhorns, trying to use the minimum techniques possible,. but, we’ve utilized beanbags and paintball as well .”

This is the best time to see a grizzly in and around Yellowstone. And the grizzly that people are photographing in the Yellowstone Lake area has been showing up almost every day.

When she shows up, crowds of people stand shoulder to shoulder to get a picture of the rare, almost white grizzly…

Professional Photographer Heidi Pinkerton said she has a big lense on her camera, “So I don’t have to stand so close to them.”

But if a ranger isn’t around, people often get much closer than the park’s recommended distance.

Reinertson said, “Distance is our best friend. 100 yards is the rule. We want to keep people 100 yards away from bears and wolves. At least 25 yards, if not further, from some of these other critters, too.”

Pinkerton has witnessed people getting too close, but she’s also seen park lawmen pushing them back, keeping people and bears safe…

“So we have great Rangers…”

The Park is also asking visitors to honk their horn if a bear approaches their car…and tell a ranger, or call 911 if you see someone who’s behavior might hurt them, or others in Yellowstone.

Grizzly and Black bears are active in the park now, but you may also see them in the forests surrounding the park. The same rules apply: stay a safe distance away.