First of all, we did not see bears in the campground or roaming the heights in the mountains. To make up for this shocking lack of ursine visibility, we went to this place just a couple of miles from our campground near West Glacier, MT:
The bears roam throughout a couple acres of wooded land; visitors drive though — with windows closed — on narrow paved trails. In the distance we could see some concrete bunkers that were probably the bears winter *dens*. I cannot testify to the bears' treatment, but I saw no obvious evidence of neglect or abuse.
Except for the rain.
We stayed in the van, of course, but I did roll my window down a few times to get a better photo. This shot, taken out of my open window, gives you a pretty good idea of how far away — alternatively, how close! — the bear was.
Using the magic of a 6X zoom and iPhoto cropping, let me show you that bear up close and personal.
That was about as fierce as any of the bear looked while we were there.
That was quite fierce enough for me.
One of the employees was working in the enclosure; not sure what she was doing, but I suspect it was NOT distributing bear chow. That is a job where the distributor should be well out of reach of the distributee. No matter; it was not a job I would want. Even if the wires visible in the photo were electrified, given how dense a bear's coat is, an ordinary electric fence would not slow it down much.
Bear Our Senior Dog never saw any of her namesakes; she is too old to climb up onto a seat or the bed to look out the window. She may have smelled them, as her sense of smell is undiminished, but mostly she slept through the whole adventure.
Lucy The Junior Dog was pretty excited by the bear park, though. I neglected to get a photo of her dancing in her seat and whining excitedly for us to let her out so she could play with her New Best (Bear) Friend!
The park was small, there were only a few bears, and it didn't take us
long to see everything and everyone there several times over. And so we took our leave.