Bear Facts

September 14, 2022

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: 1

Parking lots and roadsides: 0

Residential: 5

Other areas: 11

Total: 25

Number of incidents last year: 55

So far this year, incidents are:

  • down by 50% compared to last year
  • down by 98% compared to the year with the most incidents (1998)

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).

Activity Summary

As summer starts to cool down in Yosemite, black bears are preparing for winter. Bears in the Sierra Nevada will soon enter hyperphagia—a state where bear appetites increase dramatically and they will eat as many as 20,000 calories and for as many as twenty hours per day to put on weight for the winter. This increased appetite can push bears to look for food where people are.

There have been two incidents since late August of bears entering buildings including an unsecured garage and an exterior storage closet. It is extra important this time of year as the outside temperatures drop to make sure buildings are secure to prevent bears from breaking into buildings. Residents and visitors of Yosemite can protect bears by ensuring that windows and doors are closed and securely latched whenever occupants are not home. Remove window AC units whenever the room is unoccupied. Do not leave open windows unattended overnight, particularly in or near the kitchen.

Slow Down!

So far this year, at least six 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.

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

Even though bears mate in the early summer, the fertilized embryo does not implant in the mother bear’s uterine wall until fall. This is a reproductive strategy to make sure that the mother bear has enough fat storage to carry a litter to term.

Other Wildlife

Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) are entering the rut (mating season) in Yosemite. Bucks are shedding their velvet. sharpening their antlers, and are more prone to aggressive behavior this due to hormonal fluctuations. Be sure stay a minimum of 25 yards or two shuttle buses away from any deer.

Last updated: September 14, 2022

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