[pct-l] Bear spray illegal in Yosemite

Susan Alcorn backpack45 at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 24 13:51:29 CST 2016

There has never been a fatality due to a bear in Yosemite's history.  As  many know, Yosemite has often been called the training ground for super-intelligent bears--ones that will grab food from a picnic table in seconds when your back is turned; where bears tear open car's trunks to help themselves to picnic lunches, where Mama bear sends Baby Bear out on the weaker branches to retrieve food hung old-style (I'm sure many of you have seen pieces of rope dangling from trees and wondered why it is there.) Also, Yosemite, like Yellowstone, used to make feeding the bears at the open garbage dumps a nightly show for tourists. 
Now decades later, after realizing that both bears and humans suffered from encouraging the feeding of bears, national  parks no longer allow such behavior that habituate bears to humans and their food. The subsequent reduction of incidents has been impressive. 
Number of incidents last year (to October 3, 2015)
To date: 145
Total: 165
So far this year (2015), incidents are down 49% compared to the same time last year, but down 95% since 1998.Note: A bear incident occurs when a bear causes a monetary loss to a person--that is, if the bear causes property damage or obtains food. Bear incidents also include cases of bears causing injury to a person (which are fairly uncommon).
Again: There has never been a fatality due to a bear in Yosemite's history.  The following link has some good guidelines on how to act if you should have a bear approach your campsite. When I had a bear approach our Tarptent, in Little Yosemite, in the middle of the night, I used my best teacher-voice to yell, "Get out of here!" and the bear took off. (Banging pots and pans has never worked for us.) 
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g61000-c159048/Yosemite-National-Park:California:Bears.In.Yosemite.htmlBear spray is illegal in Yosemite. If we continue to store our food properly, we will continue to see reductions in incidents. Susan Alcorn

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