Thanks to the Yosemite’s diligent program to educate the public about bears, there are way less incidents than in years past. An incident is when a bear takes something of value from a person. We have about 400 of them and they can get to over 400 pounds.
On a year-to-date basis, in 1998 there were: 338 incidents; so far in 2015 only 29. That’s good. What’s bad? So far this year, 3 bears have been hit by vehicles.
In the history of the park – NO ONE has been killed by a bear. Wow. No one. How about injuries?
Ranger Ryan Leahy, Wildlife Biologist, told me that in the 57 years of data collection, Yosemite has had a total of 351 total injuries which averages out to 6.1 human injuries per year.
There has not been a single bear-related human injury in Yosemite National Park since 2011. Whew.
Injury types are only available for a portion of the incidents, but injuries trend toward scratches on the face, minor bites, bumps, bruises and lacerations from contact with bears.
Conclusion – Use the bear proof containers, keep your car empty of anything that smells or looks like food (coolers, lotions, cans included) – especially at night. And keep your backpack outside if it has held beef jerky or other raw food. I’ve seen one ripped to shreds.
Bears are kinda like pigs…they want the easy food – not you. If you come across one, keep back. If it approaches, look big, make noise and toss sticks / rocks NEAR it; not at it. They will wander away.
To report any bear activity or possible attractants that need attention, call the Save-a-Bear Hotline at (209) 372-0322. The welfare of Yosemite’s bears is in all of our hands.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “I got them steadily depressin’, low down mind messin’ ‘workin’ at the car wash’ blues” – Jim Croce
MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com