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Get back to your manzanita berries!

Get back to your manzanita berries!

Bullying bears that steal campers' dinnerswon't find the pickings so easy under new policies at Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia national parks. But campers will need to show a little extra backbone.

Rangers reckon the Sierra's normally timidbears have been lured into larceny by a combination of improperly stored food and easily intimidated campers. But according to Yosemite biologist Jeff Keay, "If campers harass bears enough around campsites, they'll stick to eating manzanita berries.'

New ways to handle meetings. The newtack encourages people to be persistent in trying to make bears move on. A Sequoia and Kings Canyon brochure suggests the new attitude: "Bears can be scared away. Be bold but keep your distance.'

Yosemite's new broachure, in addition torecommending the usual yelling, clapping, and pan-banging, even goes so far as to suggest throwing objects toward the bear. (That's toward, not at.) "These actions should be immediate and when done together should be effective in keeping bears away,' says the brochure.

If a bear gets your food despite theseactions, do not try to get it back. Last year, park bears inflicted several minor injuries--one in Yosemite and four in Sequoia /Kings Canyon--but only after being surprised within swatting range. There has never been an aggressive, intentional mauling in either park.

What happens to troublemakers? Bearsthat become too grabby are dangerous. Each year at Yosemite, six to eight animals that have been deemed a threat are trapped and given lethal injections.

Biologists at both parks caution that theiradvice applies only to black bears in these parks (they are the only bears there; neither has grizzlies), and that proper food storage is essential.

Photo: Free lunches at Yosemite picnic groundscould be ended by new park policies
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Yosemite brochure to protect camper from bears
Publication:Sunset
Date:Aug 1, 1987
Words:290
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