Warning : Yosemity is active bear country!
You are warned about the bears a lot. When you arrive at the park you receive a flyer. When you stay the night in the park they advice you even more thourough. They tell you explicit that the bears do cause problems and they give you flyers telling you what you should and shouldn't do to prevent problems. There are also signs in the accomodation to remind you again.
There are special lockers in the park, to store all your luggage. There shouldn't be anything left in the car or in the tent. The bears smell if there is food in the car, but they also recognize an ice chest. That is good enough reason for a bear to break into a car.... An ice-chest does mean food, doesn't it!
Bears? Rattlesnakes? Orcs?
I never saw any (thankfully, depending on pov), but there were tons of these ground squirrels, and they come up real close. They want your lunch. Be careful, as I think they may be terr'rists.
When you visit Yosemite remember that even if you have a few paved roads this is still a wild habitat. It is estimated that somewhere between 300 to 500 black bears call Yosemite home. Black bears are omnivores and will eat almost anything. They spend most of their days foraging for seeds, berries, acorns, and insects and unfortunately, many Yosemite bears have also perfected the skill of obtaining food from humans. Each year some bears must be killed by the park rangers because they have become too aggressive in the search for human food, causing damage to property as well as sometimes injuring tourists. But the bears are not to blame. If you care about your property and park wildlife, do not leave food in your car. In fact, never leave food unattended. Eat it, discard it in one of the bear proof garbage cans provided throughout the park or use a food storage locker also available for public use throughout the park. Also store any scented item in the bear-proof lockers. When Yosemite's bears become accustomed to eating human food and garbage, they will often continue to seek it out and some may even resort to intimidating humans in order to get more. Not to talk about the fact that their role in the park's natural environment is altered. Do not underestimate a bear's intelligence, strength, or reach. Never approach a mother with cubs. She may attack in defense of her young.
Feeding bears or deer is bad. The animals will come to depend on people for their food. In the case of the deer, they don`t bare much threat (unless they bare canines).
But, in the case of the bears (including the beer drinking variety), they may lose their innate fear of people and become more agressive. Some bears that become so have to be shot because of the danger they pose to people. Save a bear... don`t feed it.
If there are cubs around then there`s probably a mother bear nearby. A mother bear will react fiercely to protect its young. Don`t antagonize or get near them.
There are most definitely bears living in and around Yosemite National Park. NEVER leave food or anything with human smells such as deoderant, mouth wash, toothpaste, etc., in your car or in your tent. Also, bears have learned that paper and plastic bags hold food, and metal spray canisters often hold food - so if they even SEE those, regardless of what they may or may not contain, the bears will do their best to get at those items.
Every year a LOT of cars are destroyed by hungry and curious bears.
If you're staying in a hotel, make sure you take all tempting items to your room with you. If you aren't staying inside a hotel, all campsites provide Bear Boxes, where you can store your food. Use 'em!
Bears still freely roam about the camps. They've gotten used to humans around the park. Once you arrive and unpack, make sure every piece of food and anything that has any sort of fragrance is removed from your car!!!! The bear sees the car as a tin can and it's pretty easy for them to "open" it up. You don't want that happening.
Same advice for when you're away from camp or done for the night, put your things in the bear boxes provided. Bears will still try to make a play for them and it's common early morning to see them trying to access the bear boxes, to no avail. They make for the trash cans afterwards. The bear boxes are all over the valley, so make use of them!
Check the link, it's got some pretty great tips on bears and what to do if you see one. Enjoy!
Upon first arriving at Housekeeping camp, the first thing you are treated to is stock footage of a bear literally tearing open a car ass if it where made out of foil. I guess they do that to show you what can happen if you aren't careful. So basically, don't leave ANYTHING in your car. Take out all food items, toiletries, or anything that be easily mistaken by bears as food. I've been told that bears can sense food that is sealed inside a can, which is locked in a cool box in your trunk. Don't believe me? Well, that's up to you really... better be safe than sorry. Use the bear boxes provided, or else i hope you have bear damage insurance.
If you plan on camping, you must follow the proper storage instructions for your food. The park is well marked with signs, notifying you of the dangers. The bears will come into the camp looking for a snack. They are extremely dangerous, and can be very destructive...even tearing into vehicles if they smell food inside.
Hey, we all gotta eat and that included the wildlife, so be sure to follow some basic food storage rules.
1) Don't leave food in your car unless you think that dents and broken glass will improve its appearance
2) Don't leave food unattended. Store it in one of the many food storage lockers like you see here
3) Keep in mind that animals smell better than you, so anything with a food-like scent (coconut scented sunscreen or minty toothpaste for example) might attract attention
4) If you're camping, keep your campground clean. Discard trash in the bearproof cans provided by the park
If you are approached by a bear, your best bet is to make a lot of noise. Throw rocks, wave your arms, do whatever you gotta do, even if you look like a raving lunatic (in fact, the more raving the better).
I was there for a few months and did I get to see a bear? NO!!! I couldn't believe it. Everyone else did--I would arrive someplace like 2 minutes after a bear was spotted. It became embarrassing. But I have never had good luck spotting wildlife--I am not a very lucky person.
But the marmots...they had a thing against me, I think. Early in the morning when I'd stay up at White Wolf, I go out to the shower/bathroom facility and there they were. Staring. Plotting. Waiting. An organized marmot family, that's what they were. Later, we would be climbing on the rocks and the big intimidating marmot would make his presences known and his little marmot groupies...oh, they were there too! Just don't make these guys mad...they remember.
I still liked seeing them, though--despite their obvious agenda. :)
I looked through all the warning/danger tips under Yosemite, and they only talked about bears. In fact, there are more accidents involving deers than bears, although nothing as serious.
Both deers and bears like to hang around people for food. But the difference is that, when people see deers they like to get closer, but when they see bears they run away. People often think deers are cute and harmless. Well, not always. Deers can be unpredictable, especially during mating season. How do they hurt people? They butt and they kick. Unlike horses, they stand up and kick with their front legs instead.
At night (Sept 2003), on a campsite just outside Yosemite NP, we encountered a black bear two nights in a row. I did manage to get one picture of it, hoping the flashlight would scare it away. Do use the bear boxes...
Grizzly bears and mountain lions call Yosemite home. I did not encouter one here. Ironically, I saw a bear the other day in front of my house in New Jersey. They are here and there have been encounters. Don;t go off to far on your own here.
This park (as well as Sequoia and King's Canyon) have "wild" bears and so the visitors are requested to not leave any smelly stuff in the car (which even goes for toothpaste and perfums!). Hikers are adviced to do the same and use only vacuum-packed foods during their adventures, especially when they stay out in the open wild.
In the world of alpinists it is known anyway. Do not go onto climbing-tracks that are over your skills and never go alone. Take the warnings serious and don't think to quickly that "it will be alright". Yearly accidents happen with rookies and not seldomly lethal.
Wild Animals are exactly that, wild! As gentle as they look, there are more reports of deer-inflicted injuries every year than bear inflicted injuries. Yosemite is home to everything from deer to squirrels to bears and mountain lions. Even squirrels have fleas that can carry the plague! Mountain lion sightings are extremely rare and if you see one, report when and where to a ranger as soon as possible. They like to keep an update on where the mountain lions are. Just remember to never approach a wild animal no matter how tame it looks!