Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bear sighting

A note and photo from volunteers Kay and Dave on the east side of the park:

My husband Dave and I hiked from White River Campground to Frozen Lake and back last Saturday, and look who met us by the Wonderland trail right before the junction to the Sunrise trail (attached.) He was a small fellow; bigger than a cub but not a full grown adult. We reported it to the ranger at Sunrise who wrote down "black" bear, but he certainly looks quite brown. Perhaps cubs/adolescents are lighter in color than adults? Anyway, it was really neat. Fortunately, he was digging by a part of trail that was not as populated, so hopefully he went off in peace.
For the record, black bears may be black, brown, cinnamon, or blond in color; they're all considered "black bears." Just as our "red foxes" may be either red or silver in color. If you encounter one of these guys along the trail--and people have been seeing a lot of them this year--keep calm and keep your distance, and the bear will most likely ignore you. In the unlikely event that it acts aggressive, make yourself as large and as noisy as possible. If you encounter a bear in the campground or other populated area, let a ranger know right away, as we've had some problems with bears becoming "habituated" to human food or garbage. And, of course, always stow your food in the new bear lockers in the campgrounds!

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