One of the most common species and widespread bears of North America is the Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos ssp.) They can be found from Alaska all the way down to Mexico and even as far east as the western shores of the Hudson bay. Grizzly bears have made their way into portions of the northwestern parts of the United States including Montana, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming and as far south as Yellowstone.
There has been a number of sightings of Grizzly bears in Yellowstone park within the last seven years. Conservationists say that because of climate change and a scarce supply of nuts and berries have forced hungry grizzlies to pursue food closer to the US parks more popular tourist areas. The pines that produce nuts are from whitebark pines. This prime food source is vital to a grizzlies survival when other food in their diet is limited due to the season. Food shortages will drive bears closer to communities where more human interaction with these large animals will occur.
It is very important to be aware of when Grizzly bears are present in the national park. They can pose a threat if the situation is not under control. Bear sprays help to ward off an encounter with a grizzly but should only be used as directed. Take the necessary precautions when entering Yellowstone Park for your next camping trip or sight seeing venture. Many encounters with grizzly bears seem to fall between late summer into the autumn months, as bears begin seeking out more food to gain weight before going into their winter hibernation.
It is estimated that roughly 600 federally protected grizzly bears roam Yellowstone and its border states. Each year in the region there about five encounters between the large grizzlies and humans resulting in injuries.