Bear Facts

August 16–22, 2020

updated as often as possible

Interested in stories from the Bear Team? Follow the Yosemite Bear Team Blog to read about the challenges and successes of Yosemite's bear management.

Bear Incidents


Wilderness: 8

Campgrounds: 2

Parking lots and roadsides: 0

Residential: 2

Other areas: 5

Total: 17

Number of incidents last year: 22

So far this year, incidents are down by 6% compared to the same time last year (the year with the fewest incidents), and down 99% since 1998 (the year with the most incidents).

Activity Summary

Bears incidents slowed this week, with only one incident occurring in the wilderness at Snow Creek. There were three bear incidents the previous week including a bear ripping off shingles from the side of a house in order to get at a wasp nest, a bear eating sandwiches that were left unattended near The Ahwahnee, and a bear that got into a backpack along the Panorama Trail while the owners were too far away. Remember that proper food storage in Yosemite includes being within arms’s reach when your food is not otherwise stored legally (this generally means in a bear-resistant food locker or container, or in a closed up vehicle if it’s daytime).

Food sources are transitioning, and so are bears. Many bears headed to higher elevations in recent weeks in search of food now that the Valley’s mid-summer abundance of fruit has come to a seasonal end. As autumn nears,, bears will increase the amount of food they eat each day in preparation for hibernation. This additional natural drive to eat can make them particularly sneaky or bold at getting food from people this time of year.

Slow Down!

So far this year, at least 10 bears have been hit by cars along park roads (4 died on scene). Help protect wildlife by obeying speed limits and being prepared to stop for animals on roads.

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.

Fascinating Bear Fact

In the fall, bears eat up to 20,000 calories a day—that’s 10 times the amount of food an average person eats in a day.

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).

Last updated: August 25, 2020

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PO Box 577
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389


(209) 372-0200

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