If you think your latest hike or run is impressive, check out the travels of Ethyl the grizzly bear. This wandering adult female grizzly was tracked via a satellite GPS collar and over the course of three years, she logged nearly 3,000 miles across Idaho, Montana and the surrounding region before losing her GPS collar in October.
From what I can gather from the various articles and reports, Ethyl the grizzly bear lived most of the first few years of her life in the Lake Blaine area in Montana, until she was caught raiding apples in an orchard in 2006 and relocated to Wounded Buck Creek area, only a few miles away. In 2012, Ethyl and her cub were caught a second time in the same orchard and this time relocated to the more remote Puzzle Creek area.
After the second relocation, Ethyl began to roam and didn’t stop for the next three years. She wandered through the Rocky Mountains, around the Jocko Lake area, roamed along the Interstate 90—even crossing it a couple of times. She ranged through backyards and past landfills and, startlingly, walked right through downtown Lolo, MT without being seen.
Scientists are baffled as to what, exactly, the female grizzly was doing, as such journeys are apparently very uncommon for female bears. From what I can gather (as I’m no expert on grizzlies) females tend to stay in smaller territories while males will roam looking for mates. Some are speculating that Ethyl was simply trying to find her way back to Lake Blaine, and before she lost her GPS collar in October she passed rather close to her old stomping grounds before heading towards Glacier National Park.