Yosemite’s Black Bears Active Again

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.


Yosemite Black Bear

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

One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome

About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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2 Responses to Yosemite’s Black Bears Active Again

  1. Maureen L says:

    “brown” bear = grizzly, right?

    just to keep us confused!

    • Often confused. There are 3 bears in this genus. They are very similar. The Kodiak is often thought of asa separate. Brown bears inhabit coastal / lower river areas where the food supply is plentiful and so they grow larger than Grizzlies who live inland and don’t get as much nutrients and are therefore a bit smaller. So we had grizzlies in CA….put one on the flag and then killed them all by the early 1920’s.

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