For bears, dinner arrives in a minivan

October 26, 2009 9:12:38 AM PDT
What's bigger than a picnic basket and even better than one in the eyes of black bears that live in Yosemite National Park? A study published this month in the Journal of Mammalogy says it's minivans driven by families with children who leave behind a trail of spilled juice boxes, Cheerios and coolers carrying other snacks.

Park scientists have found that the bears tore up minivans more frequently than other types of vehicles. It found that minivans represented 29 percent of the 908 vehicles torn into by bears between 2001 and 2007, even though they made up just 7 percent of the cars that visited Yosemite.

The researchers investigated the relationship after noticing that bears seemed to target that particular vehicle type.

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