JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Water, water, everywhere and bridges? We don’t need no stinking bridges, say the wild creatures of the forest.
Guides from Jackson Hole EcoTour Adventures have been spotting numerous signs of spring lately. Moose and elk are busy calving and taking care of their young (Naturalist Verlin Carlton Stephens caught a great video short of a newborn moose calf still getting used to its l-o-n-g back legs).
So much activity seems to be happening in or near water. Maybe that’s because there is so much of it this spring with the runoff after an epic winter. Verlin had the touch with the video camera last week, scoring video of a black bear and fox swimming the Snake to get to the other side.
Guide Laura Krusheski shot a scene of a wolf from the Lamar Canyon Pack tugging on dinner (an elk carcass) while midstream.
The photo below of a grizzly bear fishing for cutthroat is significant. It’s something that simply hasn’t been seen in a decade. As an omnivore, grizzlies eat a bit of everything. When their diet becomes too restrictive (such as an over-dependence on white bark pine, for instance) the bruins can suffer. One of the nutritional staples of griz in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is the Rocky Mountain fine-spotted cutthroat trout.
When lake trout were illegally introduced to lakes in Yellowstone in the 1970s, the bigger fish quickly outcompeted native cutthroat for food, and even ate the young cutties themselves. As a result, grizzly bears stopped fishing (lake trout stay too deep in the water to scoop up). Well, thanks to aggressive efforts to eradicate lakers, cutthroat are coming back and so are ‘way cool’ sightings of fishing grizzly bears.
Great job, all, and thanks for bringing the sights of the wild into our living rooms and workspaces via computer screen as we too wish we could be out there every day.