black bear looks toward camera in forest

Officials at Yosemite National Park announced the launch of a new website Monday aimed at protecting the park’s black bears that includes an online bear tracker.

The website — KeepBearsWild.org — offers tips for park visitors on how they can keep black bears safe and exclusive photos and videos of the animals in addition to the first bear tracker available from the National Park Service, according to a press release issued by the park.

“KeepBearsWild.org is an important way to raise awareness, appreciation and respect for Yosemite’s beloved black bears,” said Yosemite National Park Acting Superintendent Chip Jenkins. “Our message is simple: everyone can keep bears wild by driving slowly, storing food properly and staying at a safe distance when you see them.”

The bear tracker page of the website features an interactive map of the park that shows where the three black bears that have been fitted with GPS collars so workers with the bear management program can monitor their behavior. Those bears either are known to frequent developed areas of the park or are suspected of getting into the human food of campers and other visitors.

Delayed tracking of some bears will be shared with the public on the bear tracker page, though site managers are taking great care that sensitive data, such as den locations and exact coordinates, won’t be shared in real-time to keep visitors who would seek out in-person encounters bears from finding the animals. In fall and winter months, delayed tracks will be removed to ensure the safety of these animals during hibernation.

From CBSlocal, read more at Gizmodo