Grizzly Bears in Yellowstone
There are about 150 grizzly bears within Yellowstone National Park. Grizzly bears are one of two types of bears in the Park, they are joined by numerous black bears. Grizzly adult male bears weigh in at 300 - 700 pounds while the female weighs 200 - 400 pounds. The Ursus arctos horribilis (grizzly) is bigger than the black bear, Ursus americanus. Both species of bears can live 15 to 30 years.
How can you identify a grizzly bear? Grizzlies have a shoulder hump and their rump is lower than their shoulder. Their hump is pure muscle used to dig roots, tubers, and turn over logs or boulders. Their face has a dished-in profile, with a depression between their eyes and the end of the nose. A grizzly bear's ears are short and rounded.
How fast can a grizzly bear run? What do you think 5, 10, 15, or 45 miles per hour? (See the answer below.)
Females may deliver one to three, and occasionally four, cubs in January or February. Did you know that the mother starts hibernation and awakens to 2 month old cubs. The female doesn't normally arouse during delivery.
This mother grizzly with her twin yearlings were in the meadow along the Grand Loop road between Norris and Mammoth Hot Springs south of Bunsen Peak Trail. We watched them as they wandered about 1/2 mile from the ridge to within 15 feet of the road. After setting there for 15 minutes or so they reversed course and went back the way they came.
Grizzly cubs will stay with their mothers for 2 winters after their birth year.
While in Yellowstone you can often see the same bear(s) in the same general area day after day. Often people will park in the general area for hours in the hope of getting pictures of the bears.
|Always remember that bears are wild animals and will viciously protect their cubs and food. Prior to moving into bear country make sure you know how to act for your own safety and to decrease disturbing the bear(s).|
Grizzlies are know to be agile and can run up to 45 mph. What do you think. Do you think could you stay ahead of the bear in a foot race? As the saying goes "I only have to be faster than the person with me."