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YNP seeks information about bear instigator, bear jam in GTNP

JACKSON, Wyo. — The summer season is off and running in Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) and Yellowstone National Park (YNP). In April, both GTNP and YNP reported record-breaking visitations rates. By all indications, the summer season might be the busiest on record.

Already, there have been incidents reported of visitors getting too close to wildlife, specifically grizzly bears.

YNP is currently seeking information about a woman who approached a female grizzly bear and her two cubs. According to the park, the unidentified woman approached the female grizzly and her cubs on May 10, at about 4:45 p.m at the north end of the Roaring Mountain parking lot. The female grizzly charged the woman who turned and walked away from the bears. The Park is asking other visitors who were around the scene on May 10 for information that could help identify the woman. She is described as white, in her mid 30’s, with brown hair and was wearing black clothing.

The incident gained national attention after videos of the woman being charged were shared online. In one video, the woman can be seen standing on the sidewalk, within 100 yards of the bears, holding up her phone for a picture or video. The female grizzly charged at the woman and stopped, just before a stone wall. The woman turned her back and walked away.

Yesterday, in GTNP there was a bear jam on the Teton Park Rd. Upwards of 100 park visitors lined the road vying for a view or a photo of a bear in the woods nearby. Park rangers and volunteers were on-site, managing the crowds and cars passing by.

Both YNP and GTNP have guidelines for viewing wildlife safely.

These guidelines include:

  • Give animals room – GTNP requires visitors to stay a minimum distance of at least 100 yards (300 feet) from bears and wolves and 25 yards (75 feet) from all other wildlife.
  • Do not disturb – Do not put yourself between an adult animal and its offspring, Do not touch, tease, chase or intentionally frighten wildlife.
  • Keep your eyes on the road – Watch for animals in the roadway, especially during dawn and dusk. Maintain safe speeds.
  • Store your food and stash your trash – If an animal has learned that people are a source of food, wildlife can become aggressive toward people.
  • Never feed wildlife.
  • Be responsible – It’s your responsibility to keep yourself, your family, and the wildlife safe. Contact a ranger if you see something that concerns you.





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