Adirondack Black Bear Yellow-yellow Takes Up Backpacking

Yellow-yellow, my favorite Adirondack black bear is back in the news.  As you can see in the video, Yellow-yellow knows what great fun it is to go on a backpacking excursion. She enjoys backpacking so much and is such an equipment geek that she goes through dozens of backpacks a summer.

This recent video of Yellow-yellow stealing a hiker’s pack from a lean-to, while the hiking group is standing there watching, is fantastic.  My favorite part is, “Git!’  Of course, I did hear a mention of ‘pots and pans.’  Taking advantage of a teaching moment and because the resident biologist happened to be hanging around today, I asked him if it is ok to for hikers to store their pots and pans in backpacks (where else would one store them?) and he said yes, but they should be well cleaned.  Last summer, I wrote about the management of  black bear/human interactions and how miserable we are when a bear has to be killed. This has been a difficult summer for all of us who wish humans could be a little smarter and try harder to keep human food away from wild animals.

Yellow-yellow is no stranger to the spotlight. She has already been featured on NBC’s “Today Show” and profiled in the New York Times.  Ed says Yellow-yellow is around 20 years old and she has had at least 10 ten litters; one every other year, with an average of 3 cubs per litter.  With a smart  mom like Yellow-yellow, we could have 30 youngster bears roaming the Adirondacks who have been trained in the art of snagging backpacks and breaking into bear-resistant canisters instead of learning how to pick berries and properly eat bugs.

When Ed told me about the over-weight bear trapped by the team at DEC this summer I developed a theory that the bears are becoming addicted to the high fructose corn syrup in our human junk food, but that is a story for another day.  I hope you enjoy this awesome video of mellow Yellow-yellow, but please don’t feed the bears.



  1. Carolyn H

    oh, this is too funny. Well, not to the person who lost their pack, of course, but other than that! Bears are such scoundrels.

  2. Gillian

    Any idea what lean-to they were at?

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