Yosemite bear incidents down 70%

So far this year, there have been 13 bear incidents in Yosemite causing $1,192 in damage. Compared to last year, the lowest year on record for bear incidents, incidents are down by more than 70% and damage is down by more than 53%. Compared to 1998 when at their peak, incidents are down by more than 92% and damage is down nearly 100%.

Bear Activity Summary: Two incidents occurred last week at the Sunrise Creek and Cloud’s Rest junctions along the John Muir Trail. One incident occurred after a visitor accidentally left trail mix in the pocket of their pack. The other incident involved a bear entering a campsite and getting food from an open bear canister that was too far from visitors.

Park visitors are reminded that while in Yosemite, all food must remain within arm’s reach, unless properly stored in a bear resistant food container. Bears are still being seen foraging naturally along roadsides and in meadows park-wide. If you see a bear along a road, do not stop in the roadway, and give the bear plenty of space (at least 50 yards).

Nine bears have been hit by vehicles in Yosemite this year. Five of these bears were killed on impact - including a mother bear that was hit last week, orphaning her three cubs. The cubs were taken to Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care Inc., where they will be cared for until they are old enough to be released back into the park. Visitors are asked to help protect wildlife by obeying speed limits and being prepared to stop for animals in roadways.

While visiting Yosemite report bear incidents and sightings: Save-A-Bear Hotline, (209) 372-0322 or email yose_bear_mgmt@nps.gov. Other wildlife sightings: several mountain lions have been reported throughout the park this year, including a recent sighting in Yosemite Valley near Pohono bridge. For more information on mountain lions in Yosemite National Park, visit www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/mountainlion.htm.