Question Sheet: The Secret Lives of Grizzlies


Before reading:

  1. What does an animal do when it hibernates?
  2. Where do grizzly bears live?

During reading:

  1. Why was Lynn Nelson nervous to enter a grizzly bear den? What did she find?
  2. How does a grizzly’s heart rate change during hibernation? Why is this


  3. Why is it so difficult to monitor a bear’s heart rate? How has Nelson

    overcome this problem?

  4. By studying grizzly bears, how do scientists hope to help sick people?
  5. How have grizzly populations changed in the last few hundred years?
  6. Give an example of grizzly research happening at Yellowstone National Park.

After reading:

  1. What are the similarities and differences between researching an animal in

    captivity and studying it in the wild?

  2. If people could adjust their heart rates like hibernating grizzlies do, what

    might we be able to do that we can’t do now?

  3. Write two questions that this article raises for you.
  4. Give a specific example of how studying hibernation in captive bears might

    help protect bears in the wild?

  5. What can park rangers and scientists do to change the way people think about

    grizzly bears?

  6. How might our negative view of grizzly bears affect their survival?


What is Yellowstone National Park like? Make a travel brochure about the park. (For help, visit the park’s website at


  1. Go to the library or do an Internet search and create a bibliography of four

    books on bears that you could use to write a paper about the animals.

  2. Write a persuasive letter to a friend trying to convince him or her to

    respect rather than fear grizzly bears.