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Be Bear Aware

Our adventure to Grand Teton this summer did not disappoint. The park provides a variety of wildlife and attracts people from all over the world. There’s also no shortage of signs about the wildlife, especially warnings about bears, and upon entering the Jenny Lake campground we saw even more. Even while waiting in line for the bathroom I read one that was titled, Save a Bear. It had facts about how many bears had to be put-down due to humans (mainly from them leaving food in tents).
We went about our day, unpacked our gear at our beautiful campsite and locked up our food in the provided lockers before deciding to take a scenic drive. As we drove through the campground we glimpsed a bear meandering through the woods. We quickly looped back around to warn nearby campers and to see where the bear was heading. It didn’t take us long to spot him again. There, standing on his hind legs was a beautiful, cinnamon colored, black bear. He was peering intensely into a tent that must have had something that either smelled or looked good. We snapped a couple pictures and went about our business.
Later we came back to our campsite and found a couple park volunteers were taking incident reports on the bear sighting. We informed them that we had gotten a couple photos and they looked through them and stated that this bear did not have an ear tag. This meant that they hadn’t had any run-ins with this particular bear before. If a particular bear gets into trouble they are tagged. Then repeat offenders can be relocated or destroyed. This is when the Save a Bear flyer hit home, animals are destroyed.
The family camping at the Jenny Lake campground didn’t heed the many postings around Grand Teton about the bears and food. Luckily for them, they weren’t at their campsite when the bear visited. Unfortunately, now the bear knows that tents can sometimes provide snacks, he could become aggressive and this can be deadly.

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