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HOW TO STAY SAFE AND BEAR AWARE DURING YOUR VISIT IN GREATER YELLOWSTONE

Photo: Cindy Goeddel

Photo: Cindy Goeddel

The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) is one of the last remaining large, nearly intact northern temperate zone ecosystems on the planet. The GYE covers roughly 80,000 square kilometers (20,000,000 acres) and spans three states - Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. You can find both grizzly bears and black bears throughout the ecosystem.


know your bears!

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grizzly bear

  • Shoulder hump

  • Dish-shaped face and profile

  • Longer front claws

  • Toes closer together

  • Colors include dark brown, medium brown, and blonde

black bear

  • No shoulder hump

  • Straight face profile

  • Shorter front claws

  • Toes more separated, more curved

  • Colors include black, brown, and cinnamon

KEEP YOUR DISTANCE!

Bears, wolves - 100 years/91 meters/8 school bus lengths

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Elk, bison, all other animals - 25 yards/23 meters/2 school bus lengths

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how to be bear aware and safe

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carry bear spray

  • Always carry bear spray and keep it within reach.

  • Know how to use it BEFORE you hike.

Make human noise

  • Talk, sing, or clap hands while hiking and walking to avoid startling a bear.

  • Don’t depend on bear bells.

hike in groups of 4+

  • Hike or walk in groups of 4 or more.

  • Leave no human trace. If you pack it in, pack it out.

Store Items properly

  • Put food and odorous items such as toiletries in bear-safe bins provided at camp sites.

  • Don’t leave food unattended.

how to use bear spray

 

Greater yellowstone coalition’s work to keep bears alive and people safe


From Greater Yellowstone Coalition and Enterprise

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Banner photo: Westone Images