Yosemite Becomes Bear Country

Bears seem to be everywhere in Yosemite.{} People come from near and far to see all the magnificent sights in the national park but they're also discovering Yosemite is bear country.{}

Luke O'Neill is from Texas and he spotted{}one on Tuesday.{} "We saw a grizzly bear about fifteen-twenty feet on the side of the road. {} He was just standing on a log. {} There was a mini-van ahead of us and wee behind and he was just hanging out there for like ten minutes and he kinda walked around. {} He noticed us."

A group of hikers from the Bay Area had a close encounter with a bear last year.{}{}{}Paul Grabowsky from Danville left{}his backpack at the base of Half Dome.{} "The bear with a claw and just went whack whack because it smelled something right there.{} And then moved on and{}I had some trash down here in this zip and he nailed, he did a little zip there to see what it was and found out it was trash."

Park Rangers let campers know when they arrive that there are rules for storing food. {} If they fail to follow them their food can be impounded and they face up to a 5-thousand dollar fine. The bears and their babies are hungry and they can smell food from a distance.{}

Rebecca Weatrowski from Fullerton plays by the rules when it comes to cooking and storing food.{}{} After four straight summer visits to Yosemite she's aware of the bears.{}{}"Well you just have to be careful. {} You have to respect the fact that this is their home. {} We've seen lots of bears here. {} We've seen bears in the apple orchards over there eating apples. {} You just have to keep a respectful distance."

There have been 69 incidents this year involving bears. {} The damage figure is just over 4-thousand dollars.{} Signs also warn motorists to slow down because nine bears have been hit by cars in 2013.{}