CODY, Wyo., Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Climate change may be creating a grim future for grizzlies in the Yellowstone region, U.S. scientists report.
The Los Angeles Times said with milder winters affecting their food and habitat, the bears are being forced into a meat-dependent diet. That in turn puts them in a bad position regarding humans and livestock.
The number of grizzly deaths in the states bordering the greater Yellowstone region is near the worst on record, the Times said, not even taking into account those killed during the current hunting, when accidental killings are high.
"A grizzly is a top-level carnivore; at times he will act like one," Chuck Neal told the newspaper. Neal is the author of "Grizzlies in the Mist," and lost a botanist friend to a grizzly attack this year. "People are a readily available source of high-quality protein. We eat too much and exercise too little. We're like a hot dog on two legs."
"In 2008 we had a huge pile-up of dead bears; this year could get to that," Louisa Willcox, who studies bears for the Natural Resources Defense Council, told the Times. "These conflicts should be seen as warning signs, flashing yellow lights."