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Yosemite bear - photo by Keith Sauer

Yosemite Bears Help Themselves To Unattended Food

YOSEMITE — Bears emerged from their dens in March this year and have been active throughout the park ever since. Recent observations have included bears grazing in roadside meadows and along hiking trails.

Bear incidents this week have centered on activities by backpackers. Two incidents occurred in the Yosemite Valley Backpacker’s Campground when bears got into food left unattended in campsites.

Another incident occurred at the Cloud’s Rest Junction on the John Muir Trail near the Half Dome trail. Visitors left food in an unlatched food storage container and a bear was able to grab it.

Bears can quietly enter campsites anytime – day or night. When camping, food and scented items must be stored in latched bear resistant food storage containers or in a food storage locker. If you are preparing food, it is necessary to keep food within arm’s reach.

Please report bear sightings to the Save-A-Bear Hotline at 209-372-0322.

Red Bear, Dead Bear: So far this year, seven bears have been hit by vehicles. Of these, three were killed including two cubs. One of these cubs was hit and killed this week on the Big Oak Flat Road near Foresta. Please protect wildlife by obeying speed limits and paying attention while driving.

Interesting Bear Fact: Cubs are only 0.5-0.75 pounds when born and only about 8 inches long.

For those interested in camping in Yosemite, please note that Porcupine Flat and Bridalveil Creek campground will open for the season on Friday, July 1, at 10 a.m. Both campgrounds will be available on a first come, first served basis. Group camp and the stock camps in Bridalveil Creek are by reservation only.

Other Wildlife Sightings: Several mountain lions have been reported throughout the park. For more information on mountain lions in Yosemite National Park, please visit the National Park Service website, http://www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/mountainlion.htm.

(Source: Yosemite Daily Report)

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