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Bear Facts

August 24-September 6, 2014
updated as often as possible

Fascinating Bear Fact

White-colored black bears (also known as Kermode or spirit bears), which live in British Columbia, are 30% more efficient at capturing salmon during the daytime compared to black bears. At night they have a similar rate of success.

Bear Incidents

Location Bi-weekly total
This year
Parking lots and roadsides
0 1
Campgrounds 2 76
Other areas 0 25
Residential 0 8
Wilderness 1 33
Total 3 143

Number of incidents last year
To date: 99
Total: 120

So far this year, incidents are up 44% compared to the same time last year, but down 89% since 1998.

Activity Update

Bears continue to cause incidents in wilderness areas. A bear obtained food from backpackers that left food in a pack unattended at the Sunrise Creek Junction. Always store food and scented items inside a locked canister while backpacking. Keep camp tidy when cooking so if a bear approaches, it is possible to gather food and lock it in the canister while attempting to scare the bear away.

In Yosemite Valley, bears continue to be active throughout campgrounds and picnic areas. In Tuolumne Meadows, a bear obtained food after a food locker was left open. When camping in Yosemite, always keep food within arm's reach and be sure to securely latch your locker whenever you leave the campsite.

Slow Down!

This year, 22 bears have been hit by vehicles! (Sixteen bears were hit by cars last year.) Two bears were hit in the past few weeks. Please protect wildlife by obeying speed limits and paying attention while driving.

Let us know if you see a bear, no matter where it is or what it's doing. Call 209/372-0322 or send an email.

Learn more about bear biology and bear management in Yosemite.

Other Wildlife Sightings

Multiple mountain lions have been seen throughout Yosemite Valley over the past two weeks. For more information on mountain lions in Yosemite National Park, please visit http://www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/mountainlion.htm.

Note: A bear incident occurs when a bear causes a monetary loss to a person--that is, if the bear causes property damage or obtains food. Bear incidents also include cases of bears causing injury to a person (which are fairly uncommon).

Did You Know?

Rockfall area and talus slope at base of Three Brothers in Yosemite Valley.

In March 1987, the largest historical rockfall in Yosemite National Park deposited an estimated 1.5 million tons of debris at the base of Three Brothers, closing Northside Drive for several months.