(NewsMadura) — A ranger in Yosemite National Park urges visitors to drive slowly and stay alert after another bear is killed by a car.
The ranger goes into detail about how they set out to locate the bear’s body and move it off the roadway to “avoid hitting other animals as they prey on it.” The ranger also says they will take measurements, collect samples and other data while on the scene. The bear’s death will be yet another number to add to the tally of bears hit by vehicles this year.
“I’m trying to remember how many times I’ve done this now and honestly I don’t know,” the message reads. “This isn’t what any of us are signing up for, but it’s part of the job nonetheless.”
Eight bears have been hit by vehicles along the park’s road
The ranger said the female cub hit by the car could not have been more than six months old.
“For a moment I lose track of time as I stare at his small body, but then the sound of more cars whizzing by reminds me of my place and my role,” the message reads. ‘I heaved a deep sigh and went on with my task. I pick it up—it can’t be much more than 25 pounds—and begin to carry it into the woods.’
The ranger said they were carrying the cub into the woods when an unexpected visitor announced their presence. Another bear was seen staring at the ranger.
“Amazed, I quickly get up and the bear runs off into the undergrowth, but doesn’t stop far away and looks at me,” the post reads. “Instinctively I grab a stick and hit it over a tree to scare the bear further away.”
The ranger suspects it was a common area for a bear crossing, as another bear was hit by a car in the same area. But then something happens that makes the ranger realize that this bear hanging out in the area was grieving.
“From behind me comes a deep-toned but soft-sounding grunt. I immediately know what it is,” the message reads. “It’s a vocalization, the kind of sows (female boars) that call their cubs. I turn and look in his direction and there she is, the same boar from before they stare at me intently.”
“This bear is the mother and she never left her cub.”
The ranger stated that the mama bear kept calling to the cub and that the calls “sounded more painful each time”. The ranger packed their supplies and set up a remote camera on the way out to capture the interaction.
“Why? Every year we report the number of bears that are hit by vehicles, but numbers don’t always give a picture,” the report reads. “I want people to see what I saw: the sad reality behind each of these numbers.”
‘Protecting Yosemite’s black bears is something we can all do’
The ranger’s plea is because the park is in high season for visitors – June through September are the park’s busiest months.
“Remember that when we travel through Yosemite, we are all just visitors to the homes of countless animals and it is up to us to follow the rules that protect them,” the message reads. “Follow the speed limit, drive vigilantly and watch out for wildlife. Protecting Yosemite’s black bears is something we can all do.”
With pandemic restrictions lifted and vaccines readily available, more visitors have traveled to the park in California.
NewsMadura’s Marnie Hunter contributed to this report.