Bear encounters double at Yosemite over 2016

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Yosemite National Park has had a dramatic increase this year in visitors, but it’s not humans who’ve converged en masse: Bear encounters at the national park rose 100 percent in early June compared to the same period in 2016.

Officials for the 1,1169-square-mile-park, recorded 16 incidents involving bears so far this year — with half of them occurring in just two weeks, from May 27 to June 9 — compared to a 38 total for all of last year. 2016 was a record low year for bear encounters though, according to park rangers.

Rangers describe “bear incidents” as an occurrence “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).”

Bear sightings have most commonly been reported along the Half Dome corridor and in Little Yosemite Valley. And part of Snow Creek Trail has an overnight camping closure in effect due to the influx of bear incidents.

Safety experts recommend storing all food, trash and scented items in a bear resistant storage container.

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