WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont. (AP) — Captive bears at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center near West Yellowstone earn some of their keep by testing containers for manufacturers seeking certification that their product is bear resistant.

Facilities manager Randy Gravatt tells KTVM-TV that the center's bears all were captured after accessing unnatural or unsecured foods, making them ideal product testers.

On Wednesday, a 400-pound bear named Spirit spent an hour unsuccessfully trying to get into a 60-quart cooler containing fish and meat.

Containers that survive an hour with a bear are declared bear resistant by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, meaning they can be sold for use in national and state parks and on federal lands.

Officials say when the center began testing containers a decade ago, the success rate was 10 percent. Now it's almost 60 percent.


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