Cub hit by vehicle at Yosemite National park, mother grieves loss of her young
YOSEMITE VILLAGE, Calif. (Gray News) – Rangers with Yosemite National Park are often called when a bear is hit by a vehicle and is lying dead on the side of the road.
“We get this call a lot. Too much, to be honest,” an unidentified park official wrote in a Facebook post. “Sadly, it’s become routine.”
Rangers fill their backpack with essential equipment then go to the location to move the dead bear away from the road so no other animals are hit by cars while scavenging on it.
They take measurements of the bear, collect samples and fill out a report for research.
“Pretty callous,” the official wrote of the routine. “However, the reality behind each of these numbers is not.”
When the ranger responded to the most recent report of a bear hit by a vehicle, they spotted a cub lying lifeless under a pine tree.
“Its tiny light brown body laying just feet from me and the road, nearly invisible to every passerby,” the ranger wrote.
The cub was likely no more than 6 months old and about 25 lbs., according to Yosemite National Park.
The park official picked up the bear and carried it to a grassy area deeper into the woods.
“I slide off my backpack, remove a binder, and start the assessment,” the ranger wrote. “It’s a female. This immediately triggers thoughts of the life this bear may have lived—perhaps she would have had cubs of her own.”
During the assessment, another bear approached making a deep-toned, soft-sounding call to the cub.
“This bear is the mom, and she never left her cub,” the ranger wrote. “My heart sinks. It’s been nearly six hours and she still hasn’t given up on her cub.”
The Yosemite National Park official took a picture of the mother bear standing over her lifeless cub, grieving the loss of her young.
The hope is that image will leave a lasting impression with drivers to follow speed limits in the area and to look out for wildlife.
“Remember that when traveling through Yosemite, we are all just visitors in the home of countless animals,” park officials wrote. “It is up to us to follow the rules that protect them.”
According to officials, vehicle-bear collisions are one of the leading causes of black bear mortality in Yosemite.
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