Posted on March 9th, 2023
The first grizzly bear of 2023 has been spotted in Yellowstone National Park.
In a news release Tuesday, park officials say a park wildlife biologist on a tracking flight spotted the first grizzly to emerge from hibernation.
Park officials say the bear is estimated to be between 300 and 350 pounds and was seen near the remains of a bison carcass in Pelican Park in the central-eastern part of Yellowstone. The first bear sighting of 2022 also occurred on March 7.
Male grizzlies typically come out of hibernation in early March, and females with cubs emerge in April and early May. Park officials warn visitors that when bears first emerge from hibernation and begin to feed, they may react aggressively to human encounters.
“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,” said Kerry Gunther, the park’s bear management biologist. “These are the first foods sought out by grizzlies after emerging from hibernation.”
Certain restrictions will be in place in areas with a high density of bears beginning March 10.