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!
Black bears are very abundent throughout Yosemite! They are often brown and while not usually agressive, keep your distance! Do not leave any food in your car, not even an empty ice chest. Bears have learned that an ice chest means food and they can and will break into your car to find it. Bears can smell a donut from over a mile away. Don't even leave a stick of gum in the glove compartment! Always use bearproof lockers supplied around the park.
All these warnings of bears and I didn't even see a squirrel! No bear sightings that I can report of. Though one night we were awaken by the howls of coyotes/wolves.