The black bears that live in the 1200 miles of Yosemite National Park have long been a problem. Decades ago, they were treated as attractions that visitors could even hand fee.
The 400+ pound omnivores generally leave humans alone. In fact, no one has ever been killed by one at the park – ever. But lazy humans who let them find food in their campground, cars and packs often get an awakening as to the ability of bears to sniff out easy lunch.
Bears can smell seven times better than a bloodhound. They would make great search and rescue animals! Though the parks recent diligent awareness program, bear “incidents” have shot way down. An incident is when a bear takes something of value from a human.
There have been 145 incidents this year; this is UP from 2013, but down 83% from 1998. Only $5,000 taken from people (“Stick your hands up!”). I wonder what a car door that has been ripped open costs?
Bear proof storage boxes abound in non-wilderness areas of the park. That’s where most of the incidents occur – NOT in the vast backcountry. The park is also beginning a GPS based tagging program so they know exactly where problem bears are.
Here are the stats for 2014 so far. Sad, but speeders managed to hit and kill 24 of them. There’s maybe 400 living in the park. S L O W down. It’s easy to speed on the Tioga road, but don’t. If you need more incentive, radar is used.
2014 # of Incidents / Value
Parking Lots 1 / $5
Campgrounds 76 / $1,869
Other Areas 25 / $543
Residential 10 / $908
Wilderness 33 /$2,266
Total 145 / $5,546
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “I’m a Yogi, I’m a Yogi Baby. Hey Boo Boo!”
MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com