One bear, two kids, one Happy-Meal

So, this one time camping in California, a black bear decided to have dinner 27 foot steps from our tents.

According to Travel Yosemite close to 300 to 500 black bears live in Yosemite National Park and Kyle and I got lucky twice during our four-day stay in Yosemite.

The first time, we were in a three-hour traffic line trying to get out of Yosemite. People saw a mom bear and her cub and of course, everyone had to stop and get out of the car to take pictures of it, creating stand still traffic.

The second time, Kyle and I were trying to sleep when we heard these weird noises coming from the truck in front of our campsite, followed by a man yelling and hitting the said truck.

Kyle’s reaction to this was the best. He gets out of his tent, asks me where I put the artisan knifes he bought in Arizona, grabs one, hands me the other and asks me if I have any chip-ahoy cookies in my tent.

Turns out, the family camping in front of us had two kids that were eating McDonald’s earlier that day. Coincidentally, the two kids also left their uneaten nuggets in the back seat of the truck. Our dear bear smelled it, broke the back of the pick-up truck and sneaked to the back seat. When the owner came to check out the noises he found the back of his truck busted and a bear eating the kids’ McDonald’s.

It’s OK, no kids were made into a happy-meal.

Truth is, everyone was more scared of the bear than we should have been.

Since the 1900s, only 61 people have been killed by black bears in North America, according to the North American Bear Center. No one has ever been killed or seriously injured by a black bear in Yosemite, according to the National Park Service Guide to Yosemite.

According to the North American Bear Center, black bears have a rather timid behavior because of their ancestral history with other predators. Also, the behavior of black bears is very different than that of a grizzly, black bears are shy and less aggressive.

I’m not sure what the family did to the kids after the bear incident, but I learned that bear spray is a real thing and not some sort of scam people were telling me to buy.

Disclaimer: there are no grizzly bears in Yosemite since the 1920s, according to the National Park Service Guide to Yosemite.


Moral of the story 1: Bear spray is a thing, buy it for extra safety.

Moral of the story 2: It will take you hours to get out of Yosemite NP, so enjoy the ride and look for bears.