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Multiple Bears Hit By Cars In Yosemite In Recent Weeks - Two Killed


Our country's national parks are a playground for summer and winter sports enthusiasts alike. But, like any other place in the world with a road system, there are speed limits. In Yosemite National Park those limits are set for not only the safety of the visitors but the safety of the wildlife, as well.

In the last three weeks, at least four bears have been hit by cars in the park. Of these four known strikes, two of the bears died as a result of the collisions. Two others that were struck survived the encounter but limped away injured, though the severity of those injuries will likely never be known. In the cases in which the bears survived, the cars were traveling faster than the 25 MPH speed limit.

"It is important to remember that while traveling in the park, the posted speed limits are not only there to protect people, but to also protect wildlife in areas where animals cross roads. Following posted speed limits may save the life of a great gray owl as it flies across the road, or a Pacific fisher as it runs across the road, both of which are endangered species. This easy action—slowing down—may also prevent you from hitting a bear eating berries on the side of the road, or a deer crossing with its fawn. While traveling through Yosemite, try to remember that we are all visitors in the home of countless animals, and it is up to you to follow the rules that are put in place to protect them" - Bear Team Blog/Yosemite National Park

Along the side of the roads through the park, there are signs that say "Speeding Kills Bears" with the image of a red bear on them. Each of these signs is at a location where a bear has been hit during the current season or where bears have been hit frequently in previous years. Each year these signs come down in winter but are replaced as accidents occur the following summer. The hope is that these signs will remind visitors driving through the park to slow down and be mindful of the amount of wildlife in the park.

If you do hit an animal while in Yosemite and need immediate ranger response, you can report it to the park’s emergency communication center at 209-379-1992, or by leaving a message on the Save-A-Bear Hotline at 209-372-0322 if you believe that the animal is uninjured. You may also use the Save-A-Bear Hotline number to report non-urgent bear observations.

Photo Credit: Kai Schreiber [CC BY-SA 2.0]

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