Can you spot the other Yellowstone critter in this spring snapshot?


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Yellowstone National Park is plowing roads in preparation for a spring season that promises a vibrant landscape teeming with wildlife.

With this in mind I’m sharing an image I captured last spring, showing a coyote striding past tourists oblivious to its presence as they observed a cinnamon-colored black bear on the opposite side of the highway.

Can you spot the smaller critter closely watching the coyote? (Answer at the bottom of the post.)

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Viewers will note the coyote’s traverse across a lush meadow bursting with wildflowers alongside a highway in the northern range.

I’ve also included images showing the cinnamon-colored black bear and a momma black bear and two cubs, which I encountered on the same afternoon a bit farther east.

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Cinnamon-colored black bear and a momma black bear with cubs. Photos: ©Pete Thomas

My visit was in mid-May and I logged sightings of 14 individual bears in three days at various locations – but only the one coyote bypassing the bear jam.

By now you’ve probably spotted and identified the ground squirrel eyeing the coyote, but the critter is circled in the image posted below.

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Squirrel checking out the passing predator. Photo: ©Pete Thomas

Yellowstone’s winter season recently ended and most park roads are closed. However,  plowing is underway and select roads will reopen for the spring/summer season on April 19.

–Editor’s note: A similar version of this post was published in the spring of 2023

Story originally appeared on For The Win





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