What Is a Group of Bears Called?
A Sleuth of Bears
A group of bears is called a sleuth or a sloth. In the same way that the word “long” becomes “length” or the word “moon” becomes month, the old-fashioned –th added to an adjective form a noun. Sloth or sleuth originates from the adjective slow, and although bears are not particularly known for being the slowest animals, it could have originated from their habit of hibernation or from their habit of appearing like they are constantly in search of something – hence the word sleuth, which also means detective. A group of bear cubs is called a litter. They can be found at Yellowstone National Park in southern Montana.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone became the first national park on March 1, 1972, where people came to enjoy all sorts of unique hydro-thermal wonders in West Yellowstone, southern Montana. Even today, it is one of the most visited parks in the United States, with a wide variety of wildlife to see and photograph. The local town is known for the Yellowstone Historic Center which traces the local history, the enormous Old Faithful geyser (130 feet high) which erupts every hour and a half, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Yellowstone National Park is also home to wildlife such as bison and elk. For a chance to get close to wolves and bears, the town has a Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, a non-profit organization that gives people the chance to ask questions (like what is a group of bears called?) and learn about the wildlife in a more controlled manner. It offers detailed history about bears and wolves in the area. One can encounter a sleuth of bears and learn as much as they can about their behavior, especially their food hunting mechanisms.
The most sought-after species of animal in Yellowstone National Park is the black bears and the grizzlies. The whole Yellowstone area is estimated to have about 1000 grizzly bears, of which about 150 are kept within the official park boundaries. The park is huge, with 466 miles of road, which makes it quite common for many people to come and not even see one bear. One also has to come at the right time of the year – for instance, spring or toward the end of fall. During late fall, the bears are busy stocking up food and preparing for hibernation, therefore they can be easily spotted. Because the intake of food is high at this time (around 20,000 calories), they often need to drink water, and they can be found close to rivers and Lake Yellowstone. In summer and early autumn, the bears move to higher elevations and other less accessible areas. Thus, any time between April 1st and the end of June is prime for sighting both black and grizzly bears.
The bears start emerging out of hibernation around March or April when the snow starts to melt. However, they will not roam far and will stay near their dens for some time before strolling down the valley. The peak time for spotting bears is around mid-May. After hibernation, the bears are hungry and they will spend long hours hunting for food and staying out for about eight to twelve hours. This goes contrary to the popular notion that the best time to spot any wildlife is before sunrise and after sunset. Not for Yellowstone. They will mostly be found close to the roads where snow has melted and grass has already turned green. Otherwise, they can be found in the mountains feeding on nuts, berries, and moths, and in the valleys (Hayden and Lamar) feeding on squirrels and carrion. The bears can also be found scavenging for bison carcasses in the valleys.