Bear Facts

August 20-September 2, 2017

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

There are 16 sub-species of the American black bear (Ursus americanus). The California sub-species lives in Yosemite: Ursus americanus californiensis.

Bear Incidents


Biweekly total

This year

Parking lots and roadsides






Other areas












Number of incidents last year: 38

So far this year, incidents are down by 0% compared to the same time last year (a record low year), and down 97% since 1998.

Activity Update

The most recent bear incident happened in Yosemite at Ten Lakes, when a bear got an apple from a backpack. Bears have also been seen in Yosemite Valley in picnic areas, and trails, and also throughout the wilderness. Although bear activity has slowed down over the past couple of weeks, this is the time of year when bears are starting to prepare for winter hibernation by eating high protein foods like acorns.

It is important to remain vigilant with your food storage to continue to help protect bears. Please make an effort to clean out your vehicles of any food or attractant, close windows in residences, hotel rooms, and other buildings when they are unoccupied, and stay within arm’s reach of any food that you have out in the park unless it’s otherwise stored properly where a bear can’t get to it.

Where are the bears? Bear Tracker displays data transmitted via satellite from the Bear Team’s state-of-the-art GPS bear collars, making it available to you to remotely explore the lives of these amazing animals. Please note: Data is delayed to protect the current location of bears.

Slow Down!

So far, 19 bears have been hit by vehicles. 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

Mountain lions have been reported in El Portal, and at Merced Lake this week. For more information on mountain lions in Yosemite National Park, please visit

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: September 6, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 577
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389


(209) 372-0200

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