While enroute to Jasper National Park last fall we stumbled upon this big guy quite enjoying his berry picken! The Grizzly was right along side the road near Sunwapta Falls feasting on what appears to be buffaloberries.
Bears devote most of their attention in late summer, early fall to the berry crops, as they prefer them to maintain fat stores during hibernation. In and around Banff National Park, a single grizzly bear has been documented eating more than 200,000 buffaloberries in a single day. Yes somebody had to count the seeds in his pooh! I think the guy is from Canmore.
Grizzlies will soon be waking and exiting their winter dens in the search for food. Males will come out of hibernation first, sometimes appearing as early as February, though on average the hibernation period ends between April and May.
As the snowpack succumbs to the spring sun and longer days, new greenery begins to sprout. In late spring and early summer, bears search for patches of greenery in wet meadows and along creeks and rivers, on avalanche slopes, in aspen forests and along marsh edges. Late in July or early in August, the Bears seek out the high energy berries as they ripen.
Bears that live near human development are often found grazing on the grasses of golf courses, ski runs, parks and other urban green spaces. As summer progresses, they spend a significant amount of time grubbing for ants, beetle larvae and moths in fallen logs or under rocks.
In 2011, Banff National Park had a total of 2,193 bear sightings reported from March through October: 992 black bears, 1,141 grizzly bears, and 60 unknown species. No bear attacks were reported.
A high traffic area for Grizzly Bears is Lake Louise and the best place to view them, enjoy the awesome scenery is at the Lake Louise Ski Hill. A Fourteen minute cruise to the top (6,850ft) and your choice of either an open chair or a fully enclosed gondola ride. Pretty much everyday a grizzly bear is sighted and a popular place for females with cubs.
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Tomorrow’s Post – “A Grizzly’s Toy”