Yosemite National Park shared a heart-wrenching story of a ranger who illustrates the deadly consequences of driving recklessly or driving too fast in the park.
“We get this call a lot,” begins the now viral post, shared on the park’s social media accounts on Friday. “Too much, to be honest. ‘Bear hit by vehicle, dead on the side of the road.’ Unfortunately, it has become a routine.
The bear turned out to be about 6 months old. The ranger, whose name is not given, pulls the little one away from the road towards a grassy place. The ranger notes that the cub is female, which “immediately triggers thoughts about the life this bear may have lived – maybe she would have had her own cubs.”
That’s when the already moving post takes a truly heartbreaking turn. The ranger hears a stick click and sees another bear nearby. At first, the ranger thinks the bear may be digging, or maybe it’s also trying to cross the road.
“But then I hear it, and it changes my mind completely,” the ranger wrote. “Behind me is a deep but soft growl. I know immediately what it is. It is a vocalization, the one used by nice sows (female bears) to call their young.
The meaning is clear: “This bear is the mother, and she has never left her cub.”
“The calls to the little one continue, seeming more painful each time,” the post read. “I take a look back and hope that would answer his call as well, but of course nothing. Here I am now, standing between a grieving mother and her child. I feel like a monster. “
The ranger quickly left, but first set up a camera to capture the “grim reality” of animals struck by cars in Yosemite. Collisions between vehicles and bears are one of the “leading causes” of black bear mortality in Yosemite, according to Keep Bears Wild, an initiative of the park and the Yosemite Conservancy,
The National Park Service says at least eight bears have been struck by cars in Yosemite and at least one has been killed so far this year. CNN notes that Yosemite is still currently in the middle of its peak season, which runs from June to September.
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