Animal Dangers, Yosemite National Park
You'll hear about them all the time while you're here. Keep your food in bear canisters. If bears ever appear, don't act like prey. Be extremely aggressive. They won't want to deal with you and will leave you alone. Yell, stomp, bang stuff, throw sticks and rocks. Unzip your jacket to make yourself look larger. Put children on your shoulders to look like one large animal. And so on and so forth.
Oh, but don't be afraid of wandering into a bear trap. You really won't miss it.
If you are staying overnight in Yosemite you will be made very aware of being "Bear Safe" with your food and any scented item in your car. This includes anything that even looks or smells like food such as empty coolers or a child’s car seat. This starts from Check-In to several signs you will see around the parking areas.
If you are in a hotel room, or hard sided cabin you can store all of your food and toiletries in your room. If you are camping or in a tent cabin you are required to use the Food Storage Lockers. The National Park Rangers do patrol the areas and will issue anything from a Warning, Fine or even Impound your Car. So if in doubt remove it from your car and store it safely. You will be thankful you did rather than having a Bear deciding to get a midnight snack from your car. Bears don't open doors they rip them off.
When visiting Yosemite National Park you may see several types of Wild Animals. This includes Bears, Deer, Squirrels, Mountain Lions, and Bobcats.
One of the most common animals you will see is Deer. They generally love to feed in the Meadows along the side of the roads. Keep in mind that these are wild animals and will defend themselves if they feel threatened. So if you see them give them distance, do not attempt to approach them, do not attempt to feed them.
This applies to all other animals you might encounter, but Deer is the most common around the village area.
You will see wildlife like deer, "wolves or foxes", squirrels. Remember the animals are wild and protected and so enjoy from a distance.
Keep food stored in proper lockers available and not in your tents or car where a bear can create havoc.
If you take a certain number of precautions, you're likely never to see a bear or have to deal with one in Yosemite. All bears found in Yosemite National Park are black bears, as the grizzly bears were hunted to extinction by the start of the 20th century. Even black bear numbers are fairly low; still, there are enough bear incidents in Yosemite to make it a major issue.
A few rules concerning bears:
1. NEVER feed a bear! Not only is this illegal and will you be fined heavily, but this is also bad for the bear. Park rangers will tell you, a fed bear is a dead bear, since fed bears will associate humans with food. Before long, they will start approaching people, causing potential injury to other people or running out in the middle of the road and getting hit by cars.
2. Don't speed. There are many red bear signs on Tioga Road that signal where bears have been hit and killed by cars.
3. DO NOT APPROACH bears. If you see a bear from the roadside, take photos of it from inside your car; don't run out and approach it, like some idiots I saw. If you're hiking, back away slowly from the bear; be sure not to walk between a mother and cubs, which will probably end up in you getting mauled by a bear. If a bear threatens, act big and throw things at it; if it attacks, fight back. Maulings are rare and there are less than one per year.
4. Keep all food and scented materials stored in bearproof containers. Do not leave any food in cars, which bears can easily break into. Also, don't leave coolers in cars, even if they are empty, since bears have learned to connect coolers with food. If you are camping (or staying at Curry Village) do not leave food or scented items in your tent. Please help the National Park Service keep these bears wild.
Surprisingly, the Park Service has little information or warnings regarding the most dangerous animal in the park, the mosquito. If you're in the vicinity of any meadow, you're bound to be eaten alive; even large amounts of DEET don't deter them. The good news is, although Yosemite National Park protects wildlife, you're free to kill all the mosquitoes you like. Word of warning: Cook's Meadow and Ahwahnee Meadow have especially large concentrations of mosquitoes.
If you are hiking in the Hetch Hetchy area, you should keep your eyes on the trail as much as possible; snakes are commonplace around the reservoir. During my 5.4-mile hike to Wapama Fall, I saw two snakes. Park Rangers say that as long as the snake doesn't rattle or have slit-like eyes, it won't be much of a threat to you; rattlesnakes are the main poisonous snakes around the area. Most other snakes are not poisonous and rather harmless. Still, keep you distance if you see one, and do not disturb it.
You'll have to enlargen my photo to see the snake.
While camping or staying in Curry Village, make sure you Bear-proof any food as Black Bears call the park home and like Yogi Bear of cartoon fame, they will go after any food they can get their claws into. And remember, they can be dangerous.
This picture is pretty self explanatory.... Yosemite is definately bear country!
Bears have been known to cause major property damage in search of food.
Pay attention to the Park warnings and bear etiquette.
Curry Village is one of the cheapest and most convenient places to stay in Yosemite. It is also the most common place to run into bears. The videos they show you in line are NOT for show. There really are bears here, and they really will attack your car if you leave ANY food in it.
My first trip to Yosemite, I tried to clear all the food out of my car, but a rogue apple fell out of my bag and rolled under my seat. The next morning, the top half of both of my front doors were torn open, and there were pawprints all over my car. Luckily for me, it was just one apple, and there were better pickings elsewhere, so this was the extent of the damage. Other cars in the same parking lot that night were not so lucky.
Keep track of exactly how much food you have with you, and make sure every single piece of food makes it into the cabin or food locker where you are staying.
The first thing you'll notice upon entering Curry Village in Yosemite, are the signs everywhere warning about bears. They even have a looping video that runs all day long behind the counter when you sign in at the front office.
So, you get these "Bear Lockers" in which to stowe away anything that has a smell or taste to it - items ranging from the obvious like food and snacks, to deoderant and toothpaste. (Apparently the bears have developed a taste for domestic toiletries.)
We had the fear of God put into us with all this bear stuff.
One night as we lay huddled in a fetal position on top of our bare cots, we heard a noise. Actually it was a kind of low growl....and it continued to grow louder. Damn! Who left the toothpaste in our backpack in the tent-cabin, instead of storing it in the Bear Locker like we were supposed to?! What to do now?
We fought over who would get out of the cot, retrieve the toothpaste and dash to the nearest "bear locker" to stash it (at 2:00 am). Overhead and lending to the "Deliverance" kind of atmosphere, a bare bulb was spinning around and around - we'd switched it on out of reflex (and yeah, terror) - and then hurriedly yanked it back off, fearing the light would attract the would-be intruder. Between the spinning bare bulb, the sound of our rapid breathing and the intermittent but continous low growling, we were paralyzed with fear on top of our stiff, stark cots in our lonely, spartan tent-cabin.
Can bears rip through wood?
The next morning, our next door "tent-cabin" neighbor asked us if we'd heard her husband snoring all night, and she apologized if we'd been disturbed by it.
We felt foolish.....
Beware of Bears!
This can be real danger specially in the night, some bears come down from the hills in search of human food, two side are the most dangerour the camp site and YOUR car, the first you need put your food in the brown metal boxes to avoid the bear attack you camp site, and sorprise you in the night. The car if leave a food in your car the bear attack the car and destroy it.
Yosemite National Park is full of bears, even in crowded Yosemite Valley. If you are parking your car in the park (especially overnight), remove all food and other strong-smelling items. Bears in Yosemite have a bad habit of breaking into cars to sample the food that they smell (their sense of smell is far more sensitive than that of humans). If you are camping, put your food up in a tree away from your tent (a hungry bear is not the visitor that you want in the middle of the night).
I laughed out loud when I read the guidebook at the Yosemite Bug hostel. The only animal-related death at Yosemite was caused when a tourist tried to hug a deer and frightened it. There are many injuries from dumb tourists trying to embrace "bambi". heheheh.
Warning : the bears can break into your car !!
Now, don't worry, this is not my car ! ;-)
Not everyone seems to listen to all the advice given. There was a lot of stuff still laying around in this car... but they have been warned... so don't blame the bears!
This is what I witnessed when I walked to the car so very early in the morning. Since Februari (I was there in May) 122 cars have been wrecked this way at Yosemite, mostly to people that don't listen all the advice given to them. I thought the miraculous thing was, that the car next to it didn't seem to have one scratch on it!
The problem at this particular spot has it's origin in an apple orchard that is situated here. The bears would come here to feed on the apples, but found a great alternative in all those cars packed with yummie food!