If you have ever driven through Yosemite National Park, you’ve seen them: distinctive yellow signs with a silhouette of a bear and the admonition, “Speeding Kills Bears.” Although it doesn’t say so on the sign, each sign is placed where a bear has been killed by a car.
On our last trip, driving through Yosemite on our way home, we saw the truth of this first-hand: a black bear lying dead at the side of the road, his blood still red on the asphalt. He was young, no larger than a St. Bernard. His muzzle was delicate, his ears soft. Like many of the black bears I’ve seen, he was not just black, but had an elegant sweep of blond across his shoulders, like a shawl.