Are there Nonetheless Grizzly Bears in Colorado?

Anytime you’re heading to a vacation spot with quite a lot of wilderness it’s a good suggestion to familiarize your self with the potential apex predators.

Within the case of Colorado, some folks marvel in the event that they must be looking out for grizzly bears?

Under, I’ll check out whether or not or not you’ve something to fret about and a few of that factual and doubtlessly non-factual reviews that we’ve seen through the years.

Are there Grizzly Bears in Colorado?

The overall consensus is that there are not any grizzly bears residing within the wild throughout the state of Colorado. Nevertheless, there are considerably common remoted (unconfirmed) sightings of grizzly bears and a few folks imagine that they might exist in small numbers in distant mountain areas of Colorado.

Grizzly Bears in Colorado: a short historical past

Grizzly bears beforehand ranged from Alaska all the way down to Mexico and whilst far east because the western shores of Hudson Bay.

In order that they undoubtedly known as Colorado dwelling for a very long time.

Nevertheless, their inhabitants within the continental US considerably decreased because of looking and habitat loss from settlement and agriculture growth. The folks got here and the bears exited.

In the present day, grizzly bears might be discovered in lots of locations in Alaska and in parts of the northwestern United States, which incorporates Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

Locations like Yellowstone and Grand Teton Nationwide Park are locations you may see them, as an estimated 700 bears dwell within the Yellowstone space. And they’re reportedly increasing their presence, slowly making their method south.

However we’re speaking about confirmed sightings throughout the state of Colorado right here.

The final recognized and verified encounter with a grizzly bear in Colorado was in September 1979.

There, an elk looking information had a foul encounter with a grizzly bear close to the headwaters of the Navajo River. He was severely wounded and barely survived after being airlifted to a hospital the place he would spend a month recovering.

However because the bear was mauling his leg, he was capable of summon the power to fatally wound the bear by placing it along with his arrows. And as we speak, the bears stays are discovered on the Denver Museum of Science.

That thriller of a narrative was fairly a shock for a lot of as a result of at that time it had been believed that grizzly bears had been extinct in Colorado. In actual fact, that they had believed that the bears had not been round since 1951, virtually 30 years prior.

The bear that attacked the looking information had a singular genetic signature discovered solely within the San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico, which raised the query for a few of whether or not or no more grizzly bears might be in that space.

It’s additionally fascinating as a result of that’s within the southern a part of Colorado and you’d suppose that if grizzlies had been within the state they might be coming from the north which is the place we all know they exist.

In the event you do sufficient analysis on-line, you’ll come throughout reviews of people that declare they’ve seen grizzly bears in Colorado since 1979. Usually, these are reviews from folks looking or climbing in fairly distant areas.

A few of them virtually come off as Sasquatch-ish sightings whereas others do look like extra credible, even when the photograph high quality is horrible.

We simply don’t have any method of verifying these claims with out onerous proof and there’s all the time the prospect that some reviews could not are available in due to considerations of unlawful looking.

In line with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, they’re fairly sure there aren’t any grizzly bears within the state and there should not any talks of reintroducing them.

However as we’ve seen if one other Grizzly Bear was present in Colorado it wouldn’t be the primary time {that a} siting occurred many years after we thought grizzly bears had been not current within the state.

A black bear in a meadow.

Figuring out your sighting

In case you are in Colorado and spot a bear within the wild it’s virtually assuredly going to be a black bear.

Some folks get these blended up with grizzly bears particularly at any time when the black bears are massive and have a stupendous brown coat.

Some black bears, recognized cinnamon bears even put on a reddish brown coat that may look similar to grizzlies. Others might be be blondish and even white like a polar bear (though that’s extra of a Canada factor).

Most likely the best method to distinguish a black bear from a brown bear is to search for the pronounced muscular hump on its shoulders. On a latest journey to Alaska we noticed each brown bears and black bears, typically from a reasonably far distance and this hump (or lack thereof) was the best method for me to determine them.

In the event you get acquainted with the facial profile of those two it’s additionally one other method to inform them aside because the grizzly bear has far more of it dish-shaped face whereas a black bear has a straight face profile. (This to me is the second best method to distinguish these two.) 

Black bears additionally have pointy ears whereas grizzly bears have shorter, rounded ears.

Certainly one of my favourite issues to listen to is to “simply search for the additional lengthy light-colored claws” when attempting to tell apart a grizzly from a black bear as if it’s not going to be too late once you’re that shut!

However severely, if you happen to do have a great have a look at the bear from a distance, maybe with binoculars, these massive claws may stand out from afar.

A number of occasions once you spot wildlife you don’t get an ideal view of the animal, although.

They might be partially submerged in a river or lake, shrouded in thick brush, or shifting rapidly by a forest at a distance. So typically it’s fairly onerous to inform precisely what you’re seeing.

So as to add to the confusion, the bodily descriptions of each don’t all the time line up with what you see. The shoulder hump and face profiles aren’t all the time so clear-cut as some black bears can tackle bodily appearances that mimic brown bears (past their coat coloration).

A black bear noticed from afar in Alaska. Can you see it?

Assured locations to see a grizzly bear in Colorado

Now, technically there are grizzly bears in Colorado however these are situated at varied zoos in wildlife facilities such because the Denver Zoo, Rocky Mountain Wild exhibit on the at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and The Wild Animal Sanctuary.

And, as talked about you may see grizzly bears (not alive) on the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, the place you can even view different sorts of black bears up shut and possibly make it easier to determine them higher.

However if you happen to’re asking this query, the possibilities are you’re questioning in regards to the encounters within the wilderness….

Last phrase

The overall consensus is that there are not any grizzly bears within the state of Colorado and that the final confirmed sighting was in 1979.

With that stated, some folks do imagine that grizzly bears may nonetheless dwell in among the distant areas of Colorado reminiscent of within the San Juan mountains.

The bears have popped up unexpectedly earlier than so it’s onerous to 100% rule out the potential for grizzly bears residing in Colorado, although a siting can be exceptionally uncommon.

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