YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – “There are few greater sights than a mother and her cubs foraging and playing in one of the largest high-elevation meadows in the Sierra Nevada,” Yosemite National Park.

Photo by Irene Reti

Yosemite officials say it has been a few years since a certain female bear local to Tuolumne Meadows has been able to keep her cubs alive through their first year of life. With a few months remaining until winter and the seasonal closure of Tioga Road, the cubs are close to surviving the first “wild and treacherous” six months of life.

Rangers say about a quarter of black bear cubs die within their first year of life, and a third die within the next two years. These odds of survival are low as it is without the threat of speeding vehicles.

Photo by Irene Reti

This family of bears is known to cross Tioga Road on a daily basis and rangers say every time they cross, their lives are left in the hands of drivers, who more often than not are speeding and unaware of the potential for wildlife to be crossing.

So far this year, officials say 14 bears have been hit by cars. Just last week, a yearling, or animal that lived to be a year old, was hit and killed near the Yosemite Creek drainage along Tioga Road.

For this brave bear family and many other wildlife that cross Tioga Road, rangers say their survival is crucial during the few months left before the road is closed.

Wildlife rangers maintaining a dual-sided “Speeding kills bears” sign. These are placed in locations where vehicles have hit wildlife.

“Even if you never see these bears, just knowing that they are out there in the wilderness, living wildly, is enough to advocate for their protection,” Yosemite National Park expressed.

Anyone visiting Yosemite is asked to drive the speed limits and use extra caution during dawn and dusk when wildlife is active and difficult to see.