Bear Team Blog

About This Blog

Keep up with the goings-on with our bear team.

Eleven Pounds of Acorns - A Daily Feast For a Bear

September 03, 2021 Posted by: Yosemite Bear Team

Visitors to Yosemite Valley last fall were more likely than usual to see a bear during their trip. Acorns dropping from Yosemite Valley’s black oaks were perfectly timed with black bears entering hyperphagia, a period when bears are looking for big calorie boosts (up to 20,000 calories every day or eleven pounds of acorns) as they prepare for winter hibernation.


HEY BEAR, HI BEAR, GO BEAR!! How and when to scare away a bear in Yosemite

July 30, 2021 Posted by: Yosemite Bear Team

Here’s the situation: you are hanging out at your campsite or on a picnic area beach in Yosemite, when you hear a branch crack behind you. You turn around to find a bear approaching. What do you do? 


Speeding Kills Bear

July 14, 2021 Posted by: Yosemite Bear Team

We get this call a lot. Too much, to be honest. “Bear hit by vehicle, dead on the side of the road.”


Bears Hit by Speeding Cars

July 31, 2020 Posted by: Yosemite Bear Team

Two weeks ago, at least three bears were hit by cars in Yosemite, one of which was killed. The two bears that survived were hit by drivers going faster than the 25 mph speed limit and were seriously injured and limping.


The Scoop on Bear Poop

October 15, 2019 Posted by: Yosemite Bear Team

You are walking along outside when you come upon a large pile of poop. How can you tell if it’s bear poop? Given the variation in their diets, bear scat from one bear can look very different from another bear. Poop from the same bear may look entirely different on different days. So, how can you tell?


How Old is that Bear?

March 19, 2019 Posted by: Yosemite Bear Team

One of the most common questions we get when visitors see a bear in Yosemite is, “How old is that bear?” Knowing a bear’s age can help us understand a lot about its behavior and how to manage it. If a bear has been managed since it was young, we know exactly how old it is. If bears are first captured when they are older, biologists use tooth wear as an indication of a bear’s age.


How Technology Has Helped Yosemite’s Human-Bear Management Program Hit All-Time Low Bear Incidents

December 21, 2018 Posted by: Yosemite Bear Team

Yosemite has a long and tedious history managing bears, people, and the interactions between the two. In 1998, the park hit a record high number of bear incidents in the park with over 1,500 (documented) incidents in one year.


Troublesome Teens – Yearling Bears in Yosemite

July 05, 2018 Posted by: Yosemite Bear Team

Summer is upon us! The days are longer, the weather is warmer, and the kids are finally out of school and ready to explore their new-found freedom; and in a similar capacity, so are the young black bears of Yosemite. The transition from spring to summer is a coming-of-age time in the lives of young yearling black bears, when they are forced to leave their mothers’ sides and begin life on their own.


Bears and the Bees

June 01, 2018 Posted by: Yosemite Bear Team

Spring is transitioning into summer and mating season in Yosemite has begun! Bears are solitary creatures and aren’t often seen in pairs or sloths (a group of bears is called a sloth). However, there are a few common exceptions: when food is overly abundant in one specific place, when sows have cubs or yearlings, and in the late spring and early summer during mating season (May–July).


Bears Like Trails Too!

May 03, 2018 Posted by: Yosemite Bear Team

Trails make getting through the rugged Yosemite wilderness easier for bears and humans alike. Yosemite’s trails traverse much of the park, and humans and bears often agree on the best trailside rest stops, access to water, and cozy campsites.


An Unknown Future – Orphaned Cubs (Part 3)

March 30, 2018 Posted by: Yosemite Bear Team

Leaving the yearlings at the den site was hard; after all the effort everyone had put in to get them to that point. Biologists watched their GPS data closely, and after about a month of hibernation in their human-made den, the bears began to explore their surroundings.


An Unknown Future – Orphaned Cubs (Part 2)

March 06, 2018 Posted by: Yosemite Bear Team

In January 2017, the sibling yearlings—orphaned after their mother was hit and killed by a car on Independence Day, 2016—had been in hibernation for more than a month already. The cubs, once weighing eight pounds each, now weighed between 63 and 95 pounds, after being well nourished through their first year by the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care Center (LTWC).


An Unknown Future – Orphaned Cubs (Part 1)

February 06, 2018 Posted by: Yosemite Bear Team

It was Independence Day weekend 2016, and Yosemite was bustling with people hiking, camping, and taking in the scenery. For most visitors, Independence Day is a welcome break, a long weekend in the middle of summer. For park staff, it’s the busiest time of year, and employees across the park work hard at their jobs through the holiday providing visitor services and protecting the park. That morning, the wildlife management staff got one of those calls they dread the most: a b


Where Do Bears Go in Winter?

January 04, 2018 Posted by: Yosemite Bear Team

t’s January, but Yosemite has only seen a small amount of snow. So where are the bears? Are they hibernating yet? The answer might be more complex than you’d expect.


A Young Bear Misguided on the Trail

September 06, 2017 Posted by: Yosemite Bear Team

One of the most popular trailheads in Yosemite Valley is Happy Isles. What hikers may not realize is that this trail is popular not only with humans but with black bears as well.


So Where Are You Taking That Bear?

April 07, 2017 Posted by: Yosemite Bear Team

When visitors see us moving a bear trap, they often ask: “So…where are you taking that bear?” When we discover a black bear obtaining human food and damaging property in Yosemite, we capture it to identify it and usually attach a tracking device. So, why then don’t we simply relocate the bear to a remote area of the park? Indeed, the National Park Service did that for many years. In recent years we’ve all but stopped this practice here. Why? It doesn't work.


Out of the Campsite and onto the Road: One Bear’s Struggle to Survive Alongside Park Visitors

April 07, 2017 Posted by: Yosemite Bear Team

National parks exist to protect wild and inspirational places, unimpaired, for this and future generations—to create the opportunity for people to experience these regenerative natural places, for the most part, as they would be without the impact of human development. But for wild animals, even our short visits to observe and recreate can have immense effects.


Last updated: April 7, 2017

Park footer

Contact Info



Contact Us