Yellowstone National Park logs first grizzly bear sighting of 2023

A Yellowstone National Park biologist spotted a grizzly bear Tuesday while on a research flight, providing a stark reminder that spring is just around the corner.

To be sure, despite frigid temperatures and an abundance of snow, this should not come as a surprise.

Tuesday’s sighting marked the third time in four years that the park’s first known grizzly bear sighting occurred March 7.  (In 2021, the first sighting was on March 13.)

The sighting, of an adult bear weighing 300 to 350 pounds, occurred near bison remains in the central-eastern portion of the park.

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The park explained in a news release that male grizzly bears typically emerge from hibernation in March. Female grizzlies with cubs usually wait until April or early May.

With the spring tourism season about to begin, bear management biologist Kerry Gunther issued this important advice:

“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.”

Park visitors are cautioned to maintain a distance of at least 100 yards from bears they spot in the Yellowstone wilderness.

–Generic grizzly bear image courtesy of Yellowstone National Park

Story originally appeared on For The Win