Bear Facts

April 27, 2024

updated as often as possible

Bear Incidents


Wilderness: 0

Campgrounds: 0

Parking lots and roadsides: 0

Residential: 0

Other areas: 0

Total: 0

Number of incidents last year: 38

So far this year, incidents are:

  • up by 16% compared to last year
  • up by 45% compared to the year with the fewest incidents (2019)
  • 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

Four male bears have been active in Yosemite Valley. Green 23, Yellow 20, and White 42 are GPS-collared bears who have been causing bear jams in the Valley due to roadside forage. These bears are primarily grubbing in downed logs and grazing on shoots and grasses. Another untagged large male black-colored bear has been seen along riverbanks in the Valley frequently. Purple 1, a female bear who spends time in El Portal, has been active for over a month both in and out of town. Two other GPS-collared females are still in or very near their winter den sites.

As bears emerge from hibernation, they will take advantage of any food they find. Cubs of the year and yearlings are especially vulnerable to learning negative behaviors as they encounter humans and human food sources. It is extremely important to keep unoccupied buildings secured (all windows and doors latched or locked), keep all food stored in bear lockers when camping, keep your vehicles clean of all food, drinks, and other attractants like toiletries or gum, only use bearproof dumpsters and trash cans to throw away your food waste, and keep your backpacks and food with you (within arm’s reach) while out enjoying the park.

Slow Down!

One yearling female was hit and killed by a car this week. A gray fox was also hit and killed. (Both were hit on the Big Oak Flat Road.) 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

Bears break logs apart while searching for grubs (larvae of wood-boring beetles). This process not only feeds the bear, but supports the decomposition process and soil renutrition cycle.

Other Wildlife

Spring is here! Help protect baby wildlife by leashing pets and by keeping your distance. Please leave baby animals where you see them. Deer leave their fawns to go forage and return to them throughout the day. Fledgling birds may be on the ground under a nest as they learn how to fly. These behaviors are normal, and humans trying to help usually cause more harm than good.

Last updated: May 8, 2024

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