Bear Facts

November 18–25, 2018

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.

Fascinating Bear Fact

During hibernation, bears do not eat, drink, urinate or defecate. They are able to recycle the calcium usually lost through excretions back into their bones.

Bear Incidents


Parking lots and roadsides: 0

Campgrounds: 4

Other areas: 6

Residential: 2

Wilderness: 10

Total: 22

Number of incidents last year: 38

So far this year, incidents are down by 41% 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 are still very active in Yosemite Valley. In about a week, there have been three reported cases of a bear obtaining garbage: from a campsite, a picnic area, and a concession facility. Bears also obtained food from food locker in a campsite, and damaged a grill in a residential area.

In fall, bears need to eat up to 20,000 calories every day to gain weight for hibernation. Because of this, bears tend to be more bold about obtaining calories, and increasingly come into conflict with people. It is safe to assume that each day a bear will wander past your campsite, house, or your parked car. It’s each of our responsibility to keep these bears safe and wild by storing all food, trash, and scented items at all times.

Slow Down!

So far this year, 16 bears have been hit by cars along park roads. Help protect wildlife by obeying speed limits and being prepared to stop for animals on roads. A map of bear-hit-by-vehicle hotspots, along with other Yosemite Bear Information, can be viewed at:

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

No update.

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: November 30, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 577
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389


(209) 372-0200

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