Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

Bears in Yosemite

About 300 to 500 American black bears live in the park. The name "black bear" is misleading, since the color of each bear varies from blond to cin- namon brown to black. The typical adult male weighs 300-350 pounds and adult female can weigh in at 200-250 pounds.

About 300 to 500 American black bears live in the park. The name "black bear" is misleading, since the color of each bear varies from blond to cin- namon brown to black. The typical adult male weighs 300—350 pounds and adult female can weigh in at 200—250 pounds.

Black bears have a keen sense of smell, are highly intelligent and are excellent learners. They are opportunistic feeders and will seek out food wherever it can easily be found. You can help keep bears wild and alive by storing your food in bearproof food lockers or canisters and disposing of garbage properly.

What You Can Do To Help

"Food" is considered any item with a scent, including canned goods, bottles, drinks, soap, cosmetics, toiletries, trash, ice chests (even when empty), and unwashed food items or utensils.

•Remove food from your car and store in a food locker when you will be away from your vehicle after dark. When backpacking, use an approved bear resistant food canister.

•When camping, hiking, or picnicking, always keep food within arms reach and never leave it unattended.

•Always stay with your food and treat your food locker like a refrigerator—keep it closed unless you're actively getting food in or out.

•If you see a bear in a developed area (like a campground or parking lot), make as much noise as possible by yelling or banging pots together to scare it away. If you see a bear in the wild, stay at least 50 yards away to allow the bear to continue in its natural behavior.

•Drive the speed limit. The most common human-related cause of black bear deaths in Yosemite is being hit by a car. Over 15 were hit in 2006.

•Report all bear sightings to the bear hotline at (209) 372-0322.

For more bear information, visit www.nps.gov/yose/bears.

How the National Park Service Protects Bears in Yosemite

During the summer, you may see park rangers patrolling campgrounds and parking lots. Their job is to make sure people store their food properly and monitor bear activity. They use bright lights to look for bears and noisemakers to scare them away from developed areas.

You may also see bear researchers studying the ecology of bears in Yosemite. They often perform radio telemetry or are out collecting bear scat to see what bears have been eating.