JACKSON, Wyo. — May through July is mating season for grizzly bears, and on May 3 this male bear couldn’t resist a telephone pole in Grand Teton National Park for scent-marking.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, bears communicate through tree-rubbing and scent-marking. Bears typically select trees that are free from branches on the lower portions of tree trunks, so the branchless telephone pole can be an ideal spot.
The higher a bear rubs his scent, the larger he appears to other bears. Although scent-marking is often more commonly associated with males, females also engage in this behavior. A 2021 study by the University of Alberta confirmed that grizzly bears who rub against trees tend to have more offspring and more mates more often.