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Bear Facts from Yosemite

We love these reports. Please note that bear encounters are much more peaceful now that Yosemite has put significant regulations in place on food storage in the park

2021 Total Bear Incidents: 15

2021 Total Property Damage: $830

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

  • Last year: + 650% (note: with park closures, bear incidents didn’t pick up until July 2019)

  • Most Incidents (1998): - 96%

  • Fewest Incidents (2019) : + 50%

Bear Activity Summary: Raspberry season is here and bringing with it a massive influx of bears to Yosemite Valley. We are seeing a huge increase in bears entering development and getting close to people in their search for food, particularly since many of the best berry patches are in and around the areas where people walk or gather. Bears are initially coming in for the berries but finding left out or unattended human food, leading to a big uptick in bear incidents and food conditioned behavior from bears. When bears get used to people they can lose their natural fear/avoidance behaviors which can lead them into trouble. Getting food from people only quickens this dangerous pattern.

Beaches and riversides in particular have been hot spot for incidents; with bears grabbing unattended backpacks with food and even approaching people sitting with their food. If you find yourself in this kind of a situation yell loudly and make as much noise as you (and your group) can. Try to pack up your food and move away with it if the bear isn’t deterred by the yelling. Campground bear activity has also increased, with bears persistently entering the campgrounds (day and night) and having to be scared out by rangers numerous times in a row. Please help us keep these bears wild by promptly reporting all bears that are in/near development or approaching people. Please scare bears away by yelling aggressively and keeping a safe distance (>50m) from bears.

Report bear incidents and sightings: Call the Save-A-Bear Hotline at +1 209 372-0322 or e-mail For more information visit Urgent bear issues can be called in to park dispatch +1 209 379-1992 for ranger response.

Red Bear, Dead Bear: Please help protect wildlife by obeying speed limits and being prepared to stop for animals in roadways. At least eight bears have been hit by vehicles in the last month in Yosemite, one of those was confirmed dead.

Fascinating Bear Fact: Bears can run as fast as 35 mph. The average human athlete runs at around 15 mph, and the fastest known human (Olympic gold medalist, Usain Bolt) runs at 27 mph. Bears win.

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