We started the day with the “friendly” and impressive grizzly, and we closed the day with this hungry and inquisitive black bear in a flower filled meadow. However as the title says, this was a bear day. We saw in total, if my memory serves me right, 8 bears this day, including a sow with two cubs. I may have my numbers all mixed up but it was a lot of bears.
Unfortunately many of the other bystanders where not very respectful of the sow and her cubs and got way to close to her which prompted the ever watchful mother to call on the cubs to climb the nearest tree. It is amazing how quickly bear cubs are able to climb up a tree, for them it seemed completely effortless.
I completely understand the desire to observe and enjoy these magnificent creatures, but please, be respectful and don’t get too close, specially to a mother with cubs. Although black bears are generally harmless, they are wild creatures and are unpredictable. Worse, if a bear becomes habituated to humans, and loses their fear of them, the National Park Ranger will be forced to take measures to “re-teach” the bear to become afraid of humans. We saw this happen on multiple occasions with rangers shooting bears with rubber bullets. Even worse, if a bear can’t be “re-taugh”, it may need to be destroyed in order to ensure the safety of the park visitors.