Sunday, June 21, 2020

Eight Grizzly Bears in One Day, Our Best Bear watching day Ever, (Part 1)

It had been a busy week and we still planned on taking a day to travel back to Grand Teton National Park. We had still not yet spied bear 399 and her four cubs but we did hear that the bears were in an area near the Potholes, (small depressions that formed when the buried glacial ice had melted). The bears had been quite a way away, so we took our small telescope along, (a Celestron C90).
Entering the park, we drove past Lupine Meadows and when we reached the Potholes turnoff, we saw that there were no parked vehicles! Obviously, the bears were not there and so we continued on and upon crossing the Jackson Lake Dam, we saw the huge bear jam along both sides of the highway.
Volunteers were directing traffic and as there were no places to park Renita got ready with her camera and binoculars and I stopped for a few seconds so she could hop out. I drove past the line of parked cars and parking at the end got my camera out before walking briskly back to find the bear. I quickly spotted an adult grizzly in a willow clearing and took a picture before continuing on to the no stopping area.
It was not long before a yearling grizzly bear came out from a clump of willows and stood up looking at all the people. It went back into the brush and I finally spotted Renita. Motioning her to me, she had just arrived when the young bear appeared and shortly after her sow, (mom), bear 610), joined her cub.

She grazed and headed toward the road and the third bear; her other cub joined them.
They grazed toward some bushes and I was able to get more images. The rangers shut down the road as the bears were getting ready to cross and of course a truck stopped blocking our view.
However, the female, 610 reached the other lane and then stopped as her two yearlings were hesitant because of all the people.
She recrossed the road and encouraged them to follow here and I finally got a view of all three bears as they reached the ditch and disappeared into the thick willows. End of Part 1

1 comment:

  1. Great pics. The one looks like the ranger is patting the bear on the head.