Yosemite hasn’t seen a brown bear since the 1920’s when the last one was killed. Funny that we have one on the state flag, but have to go to a zoo to see one. The 500 or so bears at the park are black bears – not the grizzlies of the past. Black bears can be dark black or cinnamon to even shades of brown. They are much smaller than grizzlies and not half the problem. While they can weight over 450 pounds, it’s reassuring to know that no one has ever been killed by a bear (of any color) at Yosemite National Park. In fact no one in the entire state has been killed by black bears.
Contrast that with Glacier National park – 10 bear-related fatalities have been reported in the park since it opened in 1910. The NPS has done a good job of educating visitors about the use of food storage containers and the need to secure all scented items.
2012 year-to-date has experienced only 6 “bear incidents” – that is when a bear takes something of value to humans. Usually, it’s the human’s fault for leaving things out or exposed in a car. In 1998 by this time, there were 268 incidents. Wow, what a decrease. Last year there were 26. We are learning.
Off the $6,185 in loss/damage, $5,950 was in parking lots or roadside parking areas. NONE in the backcountry. This year there have been 4 bears hit and killed by cars. Last week one was in El Portal (south of the Arch Rock entrance) and one along Glacier Point Rd.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Hello? Hello? Hello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone at home? Come on now I hear you’re feeling down. Well I can ease your pain. Get you on your feet again. Relax. I’ll need some information first. Just the basic facts. Can you show me where it hurts?” – Pink Floyd
MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com