Yellowstone grizzlies have already had a tough year for finding food. Nuts from the whitebark pine cones, one of their favorite foods, are in low supply, Beetles have attacked the whitebark pine and taken out great stands of the tree.
With a long winter on the way, the grizzlies are trying to store all the extra food in their system they can find. A great protein is meat, which means if they are hungry and encounter a person, that person will look like a good dinner to them. Full-grown Yellowstone bears, according to Associated Press, can grow to 6 feet tall and weigh more than 600 pounds. They definitely have the edge.
Officials report that the adult male bears each have just a few months to gain another 50 pounds so they can survive the winter. There are approximately 580 grizzlies in Yellowstone, who usually roam around from March through November.They are coming off the mountain into areas with hikers, hunters, and berry pickers. Yellowstone is a 14,000- square-mile wilderness habitat, with an average of over 3 million visitors a year.
The Yellowstone grizzly can peel a man’s face off with a single swipe of his paw. The two people already killed by bears in Yellowstone this year is the highest yearly total reported in at least a century,
Several years ago, a warning about how to discourage bears circled the rounds. A family decided one day they wanted to go camping in the wilderness. They explained their plans to the sporting goods salesclerk. “What should we do to scare the bears off?” asked the dad. He was told to carry a red ribbon on which was tied little silver bells, and to shake it to make noise if a bear was near. However, if it was a grizzly, he should avoid contact, if at all possible. “Gosh,” said the dad, “how do I tell if grizzlies are around?” The salesclerk told him it was fairly simple, check the bear droppings. If it just consisted of berries, it was most likely a brown bear. If it had threads of red ribbon and silver bells, it was definitely grizzly.
Most of us enjoy nature at its finest, and Yellowstone is one of the most beautiful spots in the world. However, remember the cautions about the current danger and act accordingly.
Matthew Brown, Watch out for Yellowstone bears – They’re hungry
nps.gov, Yellowstone’s Bears