And then we saw it....
That statement by Lloyd Bridges on the old “Sea Hunt” TV series as he was being stalked by any number of aquatic bad guys seemed applicable when we finally started seeing bears. Still only black bears, and not grizzlies, but that’s ok with us. Both Waterton National Park in Canada and now Glacier NP in Montana have provided sightings.
Things have changed from the old time Yellowstone sightings when human-habituated bears begged for food along the highway as people, lined up in traffic jams, obliged the creatures to get that “close up” face shot, just before the bad-mannered bears mauled someone whose offering was too meager. Now the Parks take feeding the creatures as a very serious violation (as they should), and when any potentially dangerous creatures frequent a human area too often, they close it down and let the animals have it to themselves. Thus, we have found trails, campgrounds, even road systems closed down to our entry. I guess it works – the bears we have seen are all quite a distance away up on the hillsides or along the river, with the people appropriately stationed along the roads.
This shot of a sow and her two cubs was taken from nearly ¼ mile away, where she was careful to maintain adequate distance from the human circus along the road. We (and about 30 other vehicles) watched them, then two other lone bears on that same hillside for nearly an hour, stripping buffalo berries from the bushes, gaining weight for winter. It was much more satisfying to see real bear behavior a long ways away, than a close-up of performing bears along a roadside line of cars. Who says humans can’t be trained?
p.s. Kathy V correctly guessed that the partial head/eye of the animal on a recent posting was a big-horn sheep. We will upload other animal photos when we get home.