Friends of Kootenay Blog

Access stories and photos about the natural and human history of Kootenay National Park and Columbia Valley Includes highlights about the Friends of Kootenay National Park activities and programs.

 

The Answer

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Bear stripped spruce tree along the Kimpton Creek Trail - Photo by Larry Halverson


The previous photo was a close up of this tree - showing a bear's teeth marks on the inner bark. 

It is not certain why bears strip the bark from trees to feed on the inner cambium layer. However, there is some thought that they eat the inner bark like candy, as it is quite sweet. Others believe that, since it occurs mostly in the spring the bears eat the cambium as a laxative to clean out their digestive system and get them ready for a summer diet of greens. Whatever the reason, it is a sure sign that bears use the area.