Bear Facts

August 25–31, 2019

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


Parking lots and roadsides: 0

Campgrounds: 3

Other areas: 0

Residential: 0

Wilderness: 13

Total: 16

Number of incidents last year: 24

So far this year, incidents are up by 46% 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

As days become shorter and temperatures cool off, bears enter a period of hyperphagia when it becomes critical to find and consume as many calories as possible before winter’s food shortages. Natural food sources including late berries and acorns are abundant across Yosemite, however the stress of food scarcity can cause bears to become bolder and more curious. It is imperative to follow food storage regulations day and night and to report bear sightings or damage quickly.

Five incidents have occurred over the past few weeks including: a sow and cub obtaining food from an occupied campsite in Yosemite Valley, hikers throwing their lunch at a bear at the top of Nevada Fall, a bear knocking over bear resistant food containers at Snow Creek, and a bear obtaining horse pellets from Bridalveil Creek Campground.

Slow Down!

So far this year, 11 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. Yosemite is implementing “wildlife protection zones” this month.
These zones are located in areas of the park that experience high levels of collisions with wildlife; speed
limits will be strictly enforced in efforts to protect wildlife from vehicle strikes. A map of bear-hit-by-vehicle hotspots, along with other Yosemite bear information, is available 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.

Fascinating Bear Fact

In autumn bears may forage up to 20 hours a day, eating up to 20,000 calories every day. That’s the equivalent of 100 fast-food soft tacos!

Other Wildlife Sightings

Mountain lions have been reported across Yosemite National Park. Recent observations of lions exhibiting curiosity and following visitors have occurred in wilderness areas. Learn more about mountain lions in Yosemite.

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 3, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 577
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389


(209) 372-0200

Contact Us