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Bison calves near their mother. Spring is the best time of year to spy baby animals in the park.

Springtime, peak season for wildlife viewing in the park, is one of the most popular times of year to visit Yellowstone – and for good reason. It is officially spring in Yellowstone National Park when the first baby animals make their debut. This season offers wonderful opportunities for photographers and visitors of all ages to see baby animals with their mothers in their natural habitat.

One of the most commonly spotted animals in Yellowstone is the black bear. There are roughly 800-1,300 bears that make their home in the park – this estimate includes black bears, as well as their larger cousin, the grizzly bear. Black bears typically gives birth to one or two cubs in January or February, and the cubs stick close to mom during their first summer, fall, and winter out of the den.

Another favorite species for Yellowstone wildlife watchers is the bighorn sheep, which is commonly spotted along the McMinn Bench of Mount Everts. Ewes typically give birth to one lamb around May, usually among the park's higher elevations not easily reached by predators. During the late fall and early winter, visitors can catch a glimpse of the park's male bighorn sheep, who challenge each other in dramatic, horn-crashing contests in one of Yellowstone's most amazing displays.

Planning a Yellowstone visit during the spring or early summer? Keep your eyes peeled for the next generation of Yellowstone's inhabitants – and keep your camera handy! Along with black bear cubs and bighorn lambs, you could also spot elk and bison calves, baby pronghorn antelope, and even gray wolf cubs. While the park's baby animals are certainly cute and may even seem tame, it is important to remember that it is never a good idea to approach them. Mother animals – small and large – are unpredictable and will passionately defend their young if they appear threatened. Park regulations state that Yellowstone visitors must stay more than 100 yards away from bears and wolves, and 25 yards away from other wildlife at all times.

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