Grizzly Bear Parasite

Grizzlies with Tape Worms

Not necessarily the most pleasant site but it is a fact of wildlife viewing involving grizzly bears. Two or three time a year grizzlies will appear with tapeworms.  Toward the end of summer and into fall, bears sometimes shed a type of tapeworm, commonly called the broad fish tapeworm. As this photo shows it can sometimes be seen trailing behind them. Grizzly bears can become infected by the tapeworm from eating raw salmon. The physical effect of bears harbouring tapeworm parasites is insignificant to the bear’s health. This will slightly stress the bear, but generally it is not advantageous for the parasite to kill the host, since that would also result in the death of the parasite.