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Why Bears Love Hiking Trails

How do bears spend their energy as they search for food? To find the answer to this question, scientists from Washington State University’s Bear Research, Education, and Conservation Center trained grizzly bears to run on treadmills. What they found in this experiment is that bears are lazy creatures who want to be efficient with their energy usage.

Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) need to stock up on energy before they slip into winter hibernation. As opportunistic omnivores, they eat just about anything—berries, roots, grass, insects, and meat—to put on weight...

This is the reason we usually see bears around popular hiking trails: they can save energy as the hiking trails are mostly flat. So,...

If you’ve ever worried a bear might be after your picnic basket, you may want to take the hardest, hilliest trail to your destination.

(Image Credit: Anthony Michael Carnahan/ Science Magazine)


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Remember when working as a USFS surveyor in the Cascades, we'd see bear dropping that had the berry color and seeds in it. They loved berries and if there was a big berry patch, you had to keep an eye out for one.
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