Yosemite bear incidents up 100% over last year

Bear incidents high in Yosemite.
Bear incidents high in Yosemite. File Photo

There were 16 bear incidents in Yosemite between June 11 and June 24, causing $1,290 in property damage.

Compared to this same week 2016 (the lowest year on record for bear incidents), bear incidents in 2017 are up by 100% and damages are up by 76%. Compared to 1998 (when incidents in the park peaked), bear incidents in 2017 are down by 96%, and damages are down by 99%.

Bears continue to be active in wilderness areas in June. All reported bear incidents in the last few weeks have occurred along popular trails leading out of Yosemite Valley.

Two incidents were reported after bear canisters went missing in the night at the top of the Snow Creek switchbacks. Bears can approach campsites at any time of day, so be sure to always secure food and scented items in a bear-proof container.

Additionally, when camping in wilderness areas, it is advisable to place you bear canister within viewing distance of your tent and place objects on top that would make considerable noise if your canister was disturbed. Curious bears can roll canisters away from campsites in the night. Additionally, certain wilderness camping areas are closed around the Snow Creek footbridge, more information can be found at: www.nps.gov/yose/learn/management/closures.htm.

So far, three bears have been hit by vehicles. Last week a bear was hit in Yosemite Valley and another near the Crane Flat gas station.

Black bears are excellent climbers and are known to climb trees or even rock faces for various reasons including finding food, escaping danger, and even to sleep.

The public is asked to report bear incidents and sightings: Call the Save-A-Bear Hotline at (209) 372-0322 or e-mail yose_bear_mgmt@nps.gov.

For more information on mountain lions in Yosemite National Park, please visit the National Park Service website, www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/mountainlion.htm.

Yosemite Daily Report