Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bear Hazing at Slough

Here in the park, we have a plethora of bears. The bears do many things: graze, run, stand by the side of the road, and come into developed areas. When they do come into developed areas, the park has policies of hazing the bears out. Now the hazing occurs for a few reasons. First is visitor safety. Bears can be unpredictable, and the rangers try to decrease that risk to visitors by keeping bears out of the campgrounds and the lodging. Second is for the bears' safety. There are always people who are going to speed in parking lots or driveways, and cars do hit bears in the park. Also, when a bear comes into a developed area, sometimes the visitors can get a bit over-enthusiastic and crowd the bear. This causes stress for the animal, which can cause it to act in adverse ways.
So yesterday morning, I am on my way back to the station from two bear jams in Lamar Valley, when I head into Slough Creek to check if the campground is full. Suddenly on the radio, dispatch calls about an injured bear in the Slough Creek campground. So I head in to make sure the campers are safe and all the food is put away. I get there and there is a bear about 5 yards from a campsite with an obvious injury to his right front leg. The bear had been scared off by the people in the site and he headed down towards the Creek and out of sight. This is about the time when Brady got there. He and I hiked down the trail at the creek, trying to find if the bear was coming back or if he was still headed downstream, but we didn't see anything so we turned around.
A bear management ranger named Amy came to investigate the situation. By that time, the bear had come back. Amy shot 4 cracker rounds (exploding noisemakers) in the bear's direction, and it took off.
Hopefully this bear won't cause any problems in the future.


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Myself in my uniform from a couple of years ago. I wear normal clothes to the office now.