First grizzly bear of 2023 emerges from hibernation at Yellowstone National Park
MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wy. (Gray News) – The first grizzly bear of 2023 was spotted emerging from hibernation Tuesday, March 7 at Yellowstone National Park.
Coincidentally, the first bear sighting of 2022 also occurred on March 7, according to the National Parks Service.
A wildlife biologist saw the 300-350 pound bear near the remains of a bison carcass in the central-eastern part of the park.
According to NPS, male grizzlies come out of hibernation in early March, while females with cubs typically emerge in April and early May.
“Spring visitors skiing, snowshoeing, or hiking in Yellowstone National Park are reminded to carry bear spray and be especially alert for bears near carcasses and areas with early spring green-up. These are the first foods sought out by grizzlies after emerging from hibernations,” bear management biologist Kerry Gunther said.
Park officials said bears will sometimes react aggressively to encounters with people when feeding on carcasses.
According to authorities, bear spray has proven effective in deterring bears defending cubs and food sources. It can also reduce the number of bears killed by people in self-defense.
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