EnvironmentSurvival

​Nature up close: Yellowstone’s grizzly bears

By contributing “Sunday Morning” nature videographer Judy Lehmberg:

One of the few places in the lower 48 states where grizzly bears (a.k.a. North American brown bears) can still be found in healthy numbers is in the Yellowstone ecosystem. As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of our National Park system, changes may be coming to America’s oldest national park, Yellowstone.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has recommended that Yellowstone’s most iconic species, the grizzly bear, be removed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, as grizzly bear populations have increased in recent years.

The grizzly female pictured above is known locally as “Obsidian Sow” because she lives on the west side of Yellowstone National Park in the area around Obsidian Cliffs. Her cubs were born during her winter hibernation. During that time she ate nothing, but successfully produced milk for the rapidly-growing cubs. By the time she came out of hibernation, she had lost about 40% of her body weight, and was ready to feed and regain her strength.

Grizzly bears are omnivorous. They eat a wide variety of food, from grass and dandelions to elk calves and army cutworm moths.

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