YOSEMETE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (WTVO) — A park ranger at Yosemite National Park shared a sad photo of a mother bear who stayed with her cub for 6 hours after it was killed by a speeding driver.
The ranger posted the photo to the Yosemite National Park Facebook page on Friday, recounting the events of how he had received a call of a dead bear at the side of the road.
“My job here is easy, really: find the bear, move its body far away from the road to prevent any other animals from getting hit while scavenging on it, fill out a report, and collect samples and measurements for research,” the ranger said.
The ranger continued, “A cub. Its tiny light brown body laying just feet from me and the road, nearly invisible to every passerby. It’s a new cub—couldn’t be much more than six months old, now balled up and lifeless under a small pine tree.”
The ranger moved the cub’s body to another location, but then heard the sound of the mother bear approaching.
“My heart sinks. It’s been nearly six hours and she still hasn’t given up on her cub. I can just imagine how many times she darted back and forth on that road in attempts to wake it. It’s extremely lucky that she wasn’t hit as well. The calls to the cub continue, sounding more pained each time. I glance back finding myself hoping it would respond to her call too, but of course, nothing. Now here I am, standing between a grieving mother and her child. I feel like a monster.”
The ranger packed up and left the area, but left a remote camera behind to bring attention to the number of bears that are being hit and killed by speeders at the park.
“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 ranger said.