Animal Dangers, Yosemite National Park
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.
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.
It's always quite an amazing experience to see the wild life in its natural environment. At Yosemite National Park we saw a lot of wild animals, it looked like they just kept popping up!
Often seen grazing in or on near meadows, the natural timid mule deer has grown accustomed to seeing people. Although it appears to be tame, and may even approach you. its still is a wild animal. Always leave it a wide area to walk away and never try to feed it.
We also saw the western gray squirrel on the ground or in the trees. It is known for its impressive bushy gray tail. Never tempt it with food or approach it at close range.
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.
When you visit here, you can't help but to see the warnings for bears. Most campsites have "bear lockers" which provide a "safe" to keep your food and any other things you wish not to have the local wildlife go through. The squirrels, chipmunks, and raccoons can get rather bold as well.
I can speak from experience on all animals. It is especially not a pleasant experience to be woken from a deep sleep at 1am while a huge bear decides to tear your campsite apart. Like in most cases, it was our fault, so head to the precautionary measures.
They are smart enough to recognize coolers, they can open up the lids to jars, the can open car doors (or… unless they feel like just tearing off the door instead). Try not to eat sweets before bed and before going to bed, rinse off your mouth anyway. There was an incident in Kings Canyon (south of Yosemite) where a group of backcountry hikers/campers was “attacked” at night. The bear smelled the candy residue on the campers’ mouths. Need I say more?
During my hike of the Valley loop trail we came across a black bear. It was about 2pm just off the trail between us and the South Side drive. The bear didn't seem to notice us or at least paid us no mind. Although the bear is brown, it was considered a black bear. So be alert and if/when you encounter a bear, and it is off the trail, just mind you business and continue on. If the bear notices you, approaches or in the path of your route, wave your arms and make alot of noise. The bear really wants no part of you.
The National Park Service prohibits feeding animals. Of course, they may seem rather tame; most of them, especially at the popular tourist spots, are accustomed to having people around. And they may beg for food.
Don't give them any. Remember the ranger slogan: A fed animal is a dead animals. Or, as the late Milton Friedman always said, "There's no such thing as a free lunch." Let them fend for themselves. If they become dependent upon humans, then they are no longer truly wild; they turn into little beggars.
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'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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!