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Two Bears Found Dead Near Fishing Bridge

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avatar Two Bears Found Dead Near Fishing Bridge
August 20, 2010 09:37PM
Two bears were found dead Tuesday in the east central section of Yellowstone National Park.

A grizzly was discovered dead about 50 yards off the road and one-half mile south of LeHardy Rapids, north of Fishing Bridge.

The bear was an adult male grizzly, medium brown in color. The bear weighted 576 ½ pounds. The animal will be taken to Bozeman, Montana for a necropsy to determine cause of death.

Another bear was found in a ditch next to the road south of Fishing Bridge, about half way between Lake and West Thumb. It is believed this bear was struck and killed by a vehicle sometime Tuesday afternoon. The sub-adult male black bear was black in color, and weighed 79 pounds. No one has reported the accident.

A total of four black bears have been killed inside Yellowstone National Park this year; two in motor vehicle accidents and two problem bears which were euthanized. Three grizzly bears have been killed in the park this year; one by a motor vehicle, one in a trapping accident, and the most recent whose cause of death is still unknown. One grizzly bear was trapped in the park and relocated to Zoo Montana in Billings.

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team this week reported that production of whitebark pine cones is low this year. The seeds from these cones are a favorite fall food of grizzly bears. When these seeds aren’t available, grizzlies tend to eat more meat and roots. This shift in diet often results in bears feeding at lower elevations where there is more human activity, increasing the chances of human-bear conflicts and human-caused bear mortalities.

Park regulations require people to stay 100 yards from black and grizzly bears at all times. The best defense is to stay a safe distance from bears and use your binoculars, telescope, or telephoto lens to get a closer look.

Visitors are reminded to keep food, garbage, barbecue grills and other attractants stored in hard-sided vehicles or bear-proof food storage boxes. This helps keep bears from becoming conditioned to human foods, and helps keep park visitors and their property safe.

Hikers and backpackers are encouraged to travel in groups of three or more, make noise on the trail, and keep an eye out for bears. Bear pepper spray has proven to be a good last line of defense if you keep it handy and use it according to directions when the bear is within 30 to 40 feet.
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