YELLOWSTONE NATIONA PARK - The bears are back in town at Yellowstone National Park.
The first 2023 sighting of a grizzly bear was reported by a park biologist on Tuesday, March 7.
According to a park news release, the biologist was on a radio telemetry flight and observed the grizzly near the remains of a bison carcass in Pelican Valley, in the central-eastern part of the park. The adult bear was estimated to be 300-350 pounds.
The news release said the first sighting of 2022 also occurred on March 7. Male grizzlies emerge from hibernation in early March, while females with cubs emerge in April and early May.
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Park officials reminds the public that all of the park is bear country and offers the following guidelines:
- Prepare for a bear encounter [nps.gov].
- Carry bear spray [nps.gov], know how to use it, and make sure it’s accessible.
- Stay alert.
- Hike or ski in groups of three or more, stay on maintained trails, and make noise. Avoid hiking at dusk, dawn, or at night.
- Do not run if you encounter a bear.
- Stay 100 yards (91 m) away from black and grizzly bears. Approaching bears within 100 yards is prohibited. Use binoculars, a telescope, or telephoto lens to get a closer look.
- Store food, garbage, barbecue grills, and other attractants in hard-sided vehicles or bear-proof food storage boxes.
- Report bear sightings and encounters to a park ranger immediately.
- Learn more about bear safety [nps.gov].
Some visitor activity is restricted in areas of YNP where there is a high density of bears and elk and bison carcasses. The release said restrictions will begin in some bear management areas on March 10.