All photography copyright 2010 - Theresa Sismilich - all rights reserved

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Watch for Bears

On vacation this summer, my hubby and I were at Yosemite National Park. It was our first visit to the park and long before the fires in the area. We had a great time there and from a guide, we learned that when you spotted a ranger or park volunteer with radar equipment, there would be a bear close-by. They track bears in the area via radar to keep both bears and park visitors safe. 

Well, sure enough, the husband spotted just such a female volunteer after we had walked to Yosemite Falls. She was having trouble controlling the crowd where a bear wanted to cross the road so she called in reinforcements.

Before help arrived though, the bear appeared further up and off the side of the visitor path closer to the road. You could hear people saying with great excitement, "There it is! There it is!" As the bear got closer to the path, you could see it perk up its ears. Attached to the right ear was a purple ID tag.

Finally, the bear climbed through a fence barrier and then began to run. The photo below was taken just as the bear crossed the visitor path that ran next to the road. When the bear crossed the park road everyone was shouting - at first in delight but then in alarm as a car full of visitors came whizzing by and had to stomp on their brakes to keep from hitting the bear. The bear was quickly followed by the tracker shooting a paintball gun in the bear's wake. This is the National Park's reminder to the bear to stay away from humans.

I was really glad we were told about the radar. It told me to quickly put the telephoto lens on my new Sony camera when we spotted the volunteer tracking the bear. I never would have gotten these photos with my regular lens.

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