Yosemite urges drivers to slow down after at least 4 bears hit by vehicles, 2 fatally, in last 3 weeks


FILE: A bear is seen crossing a read in this file photo from Yosemite National Park.

(KTLA) — Yosemite National Park officials are urging drivers to slow down after two bears were fatally struck by vehicles in the last three weeks.

At least two other bears survived being hit by vehicles speeding above the 25-mph posted limit over that time period but suffered serious injuries, according to a post on the park’s Facebook page. They limped away before the severity of their wounds could be checked, however.

The incident prompted officials to remind motorists to slow down, saying the speed limits in the park are meant to protect wildlife as well as people.

“Following posted speed limits may save the life of a great gray owl as it flies across the road, or a Pacific fisher as it runs across the road, both of which are endangered species,” the Facebook post stated. “This easy action—slowing down—may also prevent you from hitting a bear eating berries on the side of the road, or a deer crossing with its fawn.”

The park also pointed out the road signs reading “Speeding Kills Bears” are strategically placed around the park to mark areas where bears have been struck by vehicles either this year or in past years.

Those signs, which also feature an image of a red bear, are taken down each winter and then put back up as collisions occur, according to the post.

After being closed due to the coronavirus, Yosemite National Park reopened on June 11. Access is limited and reservations are required.

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