Our tour guide, Mike Stewart was on tour this last spring when they saw this grizzly bear along the road between Cody and Yellowstone. Especially in spring and fall, we often see more wildlife along this stretch of road than we do in the park itself. This is due to the fact that the animals winter at lower elevations rather than fight the heavy winters inside the park. This area is also just simply heavy bear country.
Mike pulled off the road (there are nice wide shoulders along this road) to spend a bit of time watching through binoculars and taking a few photos from the safety of the vehicle. The sow grizzly bear with two cubs was foraging for food - grass and possibly roots of the spring beauties (an early spring flower that has potato-like tubers) and any insects that might be there as well.
What you don’t see in this photo is that on the other side of some bushes, there was a bighorn sheep ram that knew the bear was there. He was nervous and wasn’t sure exactly what to do, but wanted out of there, and fast! However, he had trouble deciding which route to take. It made for a few exciting minutes.
In the end, he did make his getaway. The grizzly bear kept happily rooting away at the ground, tearing up chunks of dirt with the long claws and turning over rocks, looking for insects. They guessed that mountain sheep was just not on the menu for the day.
We never know what we’ll find on each tour, but usually there’s some moment that stands out a bit more than others. Join us next summer to see what moments we can find with you!
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