Honey, Is That a Bear?
Wait...better check your smartphone first
What’s the best measure of a successful trip to Yellowstone National Park? For some people, its the number of bears (and moose and deer and bald eagles) that they see. But high-volume bear spotting isn't quite as easy as it was back in the day, when park rangers were OK with miles-long, marshmellow-fueled bear jams along the main road. Today there's Where’s A Bear, a new 99-cent Android app, to help visitors run up the score.
The app, which allows users to report sightings of the most sought-after wildlife, including bears, moose, elk, wolves, bald eagles, deer and more, essentially gives you a constantly-updated, real-time animal map. You can also view trends of where most animal sightings have occured, check a countdown to Old Faithful's next eruption, and find bathrooms, souvenir shops and more.
According to the developers, “[T]he creators of Where’s A Bear have learned that visitors can enjoy nature that much more by eliminating some of the guesswork. With Where’s A Bear, your Yellowstone adventure is guaranteed to be better than you’d hoped it would be!”
Not everyone is so excited. Park officials and lovers have voiced concern about a new wave of traffic jams caused by gawking motorists, and crowds of visitors habituating animals to humans.