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Bear Facts about Yosemite

The latest bear report from Yosemite National Park:

2021 Total Bear Incidents: 44

2021 Total Property Damage: $2,929

Bear Incident Comparisons (year to date—previous years):

  • Last year: +100%

  • Most Incidents (1998): -97%

  • Fewest Incidents (2019) : +120%

Bear Activity Summary: Bear incidents in Yosemite have slowed in the last week. For the first time in 13 weeks there has not been a single bear incident. However, numerous reports of bears are continuing to be received all over the park. In El Portal, there has been an increase in reports of bears in all residential areas likely drawn in by late summer fruit. During this time it is extremely important to secure your homes and remove any attractants from your yard (clean dirty barbeques, pick fruit from trees, store pet food indoors, etc.) to keep bears away and prevent them from investigating your home.

In Yosemite Valley, an elevated number of reports has been received of bears on the Mist Trail. One bear even used the railed steps to come down from the top of Vernal Falls during the middle of the day. If you run into bears on trails, give the animal plenty of space and protect your food—do not abandon it. Given the many heavily populated, narrow, switchbacking trails in the park - it is easy for a bear to quickly become surrounded with no exit if it is not given proper space. Always try to maintain 50 yards from a bear, even if that means backtracking and waiting for the bear pass. If the bear approaches you (closer than 50 yards) yell as loudly as possible and try to scare the bear off.

Report bear incidents and sightings: Call the Save-A-Bear Hotline at +1 209 372-0322 or e-mail For more information visit

Red Bear, Dead Bear: Please help protect wildlife by obeying speed limits and being prepared to stop for animals in roadways. At least 19 bears have been hit by vehicles and at least five of those have died from impact this year in Yosemite.

Fascinating Bear Fact: A study on black bear attacks in the U.S. in recent decades showed that 52% of attacks were defensive and done by female bears with cubs. Predatory attacks made up just 15% of total attacks with nearly all of these being done by male bears. The remaining 33% of attacks were food-motivated attacks by both male and female bears.

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