Grizzly bears once roamed much of the North American wilderness by the tens of thousands, from the Great Plains to the California coast. But by the 1970s only about 400 bears remained, living in less than 2 percent of their historic range.
Today, even as the species begins to recover, humans are the greatest threat to grizzly bears. Suburbs, highways, campgrounds, ranchlands and garbage dumps are now part of the landscape in grizzly country. Yet when these animals are found near humans and tempted by the smell of our food, this all too often results in bears being relocated or killed.
Thankfully, whether you live in grizzly bear country or are just visiting, there are simple actions you can take to help keep bears safely out of trouble.