JACKSON, Wyoming — The first grizzly bear to emerge from hibernation in the Jackson Hole area was observed Wednesday in Grand Teton National Park.
The National Park Service (NPS) said when bears emerge from their dens, they search for any available foods and often scavenge animals that died during the winter.
Adult male grizzly bears typically emerge from hibernation in March, while females with young typically appear between April and early May, NPS said.
The first grizzly bear at Yellowstone National Park was observed by a wildlife biologist two weeks ago.
Last year, the first grizzly bear in the Jackson Hole area was spotted March 13.
NPS said residents and national park visitors should secure attractants of any kind and be "bear aware" to reduce bear-human conflicts and help bears remain wild.
When camping in bear country, the easiest way to avoid bears is to not have anything in your campsite that has a smell that will attract them.
- Safely store food, beverages and toiletries in campsite lockers called bear boxes (if provided), in bear-proof containers away from tents or locked in the trunk of a vehicle.
- Put all trash in bear-proof trash receptacles or bear canisters.
- Keep a clean campsite, which includes scraping grill grates after use and cleaning used dishes.
- Never bring food or anything that smells like food - which can include toiletries, sunscreen and even the clothes you wear when cooking - into your tent.
- Lock cars and RVs whenever you leave your site and at night and close windows.
Backpacking and hiking
Understanding bear behaviors and your surroundings can help avoid unwanted encounters with wildlife on trails.
- Stay alert at all times, avoid using headphones and be extra cautious at dawn and dusk.
- Keep dogs leashed at all times.
- Never feed or approach a bear.
- Double bag food and pack out all food waste (including apple cores or banana peels) to avoid encouraging bears to see trails as a food source.
- Respect forage areas. If your usual trail runs through berry patches, oak brush or other known food sources be extra vigilant. Make extra noise by periodically clapping or calling out to alert bears to your presence.
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