CALIFORNIA—In recent weeks, four bears were hit by vehicles, and two of them were killed in Yosemite National Park.
According to the Fresno Bee, it is thought that the surviving bears were seriously injured because drivers did not follow the speed limit, which is 25 mph. Yosemite National Park officials are exhorting drivers not to exceed the speed limit and report to park rangers immediately if they hit any animals.
Yosemite remains open during the COVID-19 pandemic, but only reserved visitors can enter the park. Park staff explains in their “Bear Team Blog,” “we will never know the severity of their injuries,” when they saw many injured bears hit by cars. To avoid car accidents, there are road signs, “Speeding Kills Bears,” spread in the park to inform drivers. The signs are located based on the number of car accidents that happened this year or frequently car crashes in the past few years.
According to the Fresno Bee newspaper, The National Park Service calculates that vehicles have hit more than 400 bears since 1995. Thus, it is necessary to establish wildlife protection zones and monitor visitors to drive carefully.
Rangers ask visitors to report animal hit-and-run cases immediately and drive slowly to maintain the safety in Yosemite National Park. If people hit an animal in Yosemite, they need to immediately report and contact the emergency communication center at (209)-379-1992. If they think the animal is uninjured, they can leave a message on the Save-Bear Hotline at (209) 372-0322.