How Food Receptacles Are Deemed ‘Bear Resistant’

Tom Scott visited the non-profit Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone, Montana, to learn how food receptacles are deemed bear-resistant. The resident bears are presented with containers filled with all sorts of edible goodies. If it can remain relatively intact after an hour, it has passed the test.

60 minutes of contact time. Quarter inch hole or larger is a fail. We always say “bear resistant” because we feel that if you give a bear an unlimited amount of time, they’ll get in most everything. Not “bear proof”, no guarantees. Those bears are gonna come around and try to get that easy meal each and every time. We’re trying to educate the visitors to not make the same mistakes

All of the bears at the Center are rescued and maintain a lifestyle that’s as wild as possible. No bear is ever put at risk. In fact, these tests are considered enrichment exercises.

We would never want to put the bears at risk, for sure. These are all rescued bears that came from the wild. We’re very, very hands off. We don’t call out to the bears. …We stock the pond with fish all summer long. The food that’s hidden out in the bear habitat in front of the public is just an enrichment to keep them active. It’s a snack. Let them do their natural behaviors like they would in the wild.