Photographer captures grizzly bear cub with discarded face mask

A wildlife photographer shared a post for tourists to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming after seeing a grizzly bear chew on a discarded face mask.

Photographer Jonathan Kuiper visited the park earlier this summer when he encountered a mother bear and her two cubs. Video posted by Kuiper shows one of the cubs wearing a face mask in its mouth as the family moves through an open meadow.

“Guys, please don’t leave your disposable masks (or any other junk) behind. It’s not hard to do better than that,” Kuiper wrote on his Instagram.

Grand Teton National Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including grizzly bears and black bears that can be found in all areas of the park in northwestern Wyoming. The park covers approximately 310,000 acres and includes the major peaks of the Teton mountain range.

Face masks are mandatory for visitors in all National Park Service buildings, including those in Grand Teton National Park, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Masks are also required in crowded outdoor spaces and on all forms of closed public transport in national parks.

Park officials monitor and promote the national Leave No Trace program, which includes seven principles that visitors should follow to protect the county’s national parks.

“Each of us plays a vital role in protecting our national parks. When we spend time outdoors, in nature and in nature, it is important to be aware of the effects our actions can have on plants, animals, other people and even entire ecosystems, ”says NPS in line.

This includes the proper disposal of all garbage, and anything that visitors pack should also be packaged off a campsite, including garbage, leftover food, and litter.

The grizzly bear and her two cubs are pictured walking through Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, one holding a disposable mask in his mouth. (Photo credit: Jonathan Kuiper via Storyful)

With so many people around the world wearing face masks recommended to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, discarded single-use masks have already been a concern.

A report released earlier this summer indicated that single-use masks and gloves mandated in response to the pandemic were a significant source of beach pollution in the United States, according to the Surfrider Foundation.

Over 2,270 single-use masks and gloves were removed from beaches and waterways from June to December 2020 during the foundation’s beach clean-up program, which includes a network of volunteers on the west, east, and Gulf coasts. , Great Lakes, Hawaiian and Puerto Rican.

This story was reported from Cincinnati.