Mama grizzly wasn’t too interested in letting one of her two little ones go for a ride. 😉
Mother Nature saved the best for last on my excursion to Yellowstone and the Tetons. We were on our way home when we spotted three distinct figures off in the willows and clovers. Instantly we knew what it was – and who it was.
Say hello to the infamous Felicia and one of her little ones (the second was just out of frame to the right).
Female grizzly bears can push 400 pounds and this big, pretty lady is probably somewhere near that. She was absolutely impressive and her cubs adorable.
Felicia, officially known as Grizzly 863, is estimated to be eight years old and has become a fixture in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Her propensity to hang out in well-trafficked areas has caused consternation among wildlife officials and they recently tried to haze her to get her to move to more private environs. That clearly did not work for long.
There has been a lot of debate over how to handle her as she has never been a truly problem bear – she hasn’t threatened humans or shown any desire to intrude on human settlements. Felicia simply seems to like the area due to its abundant food supply and the fact that being in the proximity of humans helps to dissuade male bears (boars) who might threaten her cubs.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has said that more extreme measures including possible euthanasia may be taken, something I find personally abhorrent given that Felicia has thus far not presented any threat – and if she did, it would likely be the fault of stupid human behavior, not her.