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Bears and Vehicles

Discussion about Yosemite black bears, protecting food, automobiles from bears, and preserving and managing Yosemite bears.

Moderators: Wickett, dan

Bears and Vehicles

Postby dan » Sun Jan 21, 2007 11:14 pm

Author: A Visitor
Date: 04-28-01 15:24

I'm in the market to buy a VW camper van and I'm worried about bears smelling food for pots and pans, spices, etc. inside the van.

Any comments?

Re: Bears and Vehicles
Author: Bear
Date: 04-28-01 15:24

The bears in Yosemite Valley are quite adept at breaking into vehicles
that contain food or other "strong odor" type things. Most of the camp
Grounds contain "Bear Box's" where you can safely store most of your
food and cooking utensils. Also, the Park rangers are normally very
knowledgeable about what the current "tricks" the bears are using to
obtain free food. I would suggest using the Bear Box's and double
checking with the Rangers to make sure you have covered all your
Good Luck and Good Camping

Re: Bears and Vehicles
Author: Robin Houchens
Date: 07-14-01 23:00

Bears do not go after just the things they can smell. Bears will attempt to enter your vehicle for items which appear as food. This includes coolers (even those that are brand new and never been used!), boxes & bags containing clothes or other non-food items, etc.

Listen to the advice of your campground hosts, rangers and other park officials regarding the simple rules to follow when you enter a bear's habitat. It includes removing anything visible inside your car that a bear may mistake for food. Using the bear lockers for the food you do need to store. Remember, the bears are only repeating a behavior to aquire "free" food that they have repeatedly learned from careless campers. In fact, some campers even bait their campsite in order that they might have a birdseye view of a normally elusive animal!!!

Chances are you won't even see a bear or hear of "car incidents" anyhow due to the new Bear Management of Yosemite or as I call it, "Bear Mis-Management". Hello Kate!!! Their job has become one of extermination rather than conservation. Unfortunately, getting the dollar into Yosemite is high priority compared to what the park was originally designated for. Bear Management has also been caught on several occasions lying to the public in order to justify another killing of a bear. Sadly, only the "insiders" know the truth. Of course, anyone who has a history with the park has noticed the drastic changes, especially within the last few years.

Recently, a mother bear was determined to be a threat as she broke into a vehicle which the owner of the car had left a visible loaf of bread and some trail mix. After two days of trying to catch the bear and her two cubs in a baited bear cage, they finally suceeded to chase her up a tree with her suckling cubs for an entire day. They had to wait for night in order to dart her and catch her cubs without campers getting in the way and possibly getting hurt. It would be ignorant to think any bear would peacefully come down out of a tree that they were kept up in all day, especially one with young cubs.

Campers were told that if the bear came down during the day, she might have a chance to get away, however twice she tried to come down as her cubs were crying and a Jr. Ranger ( young inexperienced, unknowledgable students) would noticably walk under the tree so the bear could not come down. She was killed that night and the cubs were shipped out of state to a place that ended up not being able to keep them. Where are they? Good question. They were actually supposed to be killed with the mother, but at last minute a refuge was found. Sadly, the Inn was full.

The Fresno Bee covered the story in June and all the facts regarding this bear had conveniently been altered to justify the horrible decision by Bear Management. Can you believe Yosemite has a PR person for just this kind of publicity!! Somehow the bear that had been removed from the park two times turned into eight times. Somehow the bear that broke into the one car with the bread and trail mix became three cars! As per my conversation with Kate, head of Bear Management, she said and I quote, "I've been up for three nights trying to catch this bear! And the @!#$ that left food in his car is sleeping while I do the dirty work!" One car was the final death sentence!

Do I sound angry? Yes! So please save a bears life by following simple rules. And enjoy the park. It's beautiful and maybe some day the right kind of people will manage it again. John Muir may be able to roll back over in his grave when the love and care he gave to this valley is rightfully returned again!

Soon, if we ignore this problem, you will be able to go to your neighborhood park and have the same experience!
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