A Yosemite National Park employee penned a Facebook post about the heartbreaking reality of the job; picking up dead baby cubs and bears after they’ve been fatally hit by a vehicle.
The ranger said on July 16 they followed to coordinates to the scene of the accident and found a light brown, small baby cub. The ranger then combs through the woods for a safe place to lay the cub to rest.
“The least I can do is find it a nice place to be laid. I lay it down in the grass protected by one of the nearby logs and sit back on the log opposite of it, slightly relieved that it looks far more in place now than when I found it earlier,” the ranger wrote on Facebook.
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As the ranger’s laying the baby cub down, they recognized the sounds of a mama bear looking for her cub. The ranger said their heart sunk as they imagined the mama bear frantically searching for her now-dead cub.
“It’s been nearly six hours and she still hasn’t given up on her cub. The calls to the cub continue, sounding more pained each time. Now here I am, standing between a grieving mother and her child. I feel like a monster,” the post says.
Embedded into the Facebook post, the ranger added a photo of the mama bear standing over her cub’s body. The ranger wrote he hopes people see the picture and remember how often vehicle hit and kill bears in Yosemite.
From 1995 to 2020, Keep Bears Wild, the non-profit wildlife protection group, said there’s been over 400 vehicle-bear collisions. The organization said vehicle collisions are the leading cause of black bear deaths in Yosemite.
“Remember that when traveling through Yosemite, we are all just visitors in the home of countless animals and it is up to us to follow the rules that protect them. Go the speed limit, drive alertly, and look out for wildlife. Protecting Yosemite’s black bears is something we can all do,” the post said.
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