No tourists? No problem for Yosemite's wild animals

Wild animals are taking advantage of the sudden lack of humans in California’s Yosemite National Park.

That’s according to conservationists, who say that with the park now closed to tourists, the animals are branching out.

President of the Yosemite Conservancy, Frank Dean:

(SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT OF THE YOSEMITE CONSERVANCY, FRANK DEAN, SAYING:

"I think the most obvious change though has been the coyotes and how, you know, they are out in the daytime now and very, they're not afraid. I mean, they're just sort of walking by people and walking around, among buildings and so forth, and houses.”

Dean says the park - which attracted over 4 million visitors last year - is now full of natural sounds from the river, waterfalls, wildlife and the birds.

Even the bears are welcoming the change… and are climbing trees in clear view of the few workers left in the nearly 1,200 square mile park.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT OF THE YOSEMITE CONSERVANCY, FRANK DEAN, SAYING:

“The bears are coming out of their normal hibernation at this time. Someone thought that they were more bears actually in the park right now, but it's really just that they're being seen more frequently, because again, they're not as secretive and they're feeling more comfortable.”

It remains unclear when America's National Parks will reopen to visitors… and just how Yosemite - which regularly ranks among the top U.S. tourist attractions - will rebound.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT OF THE YOSEMITE CONSERVANCY, FRANK DEAN, SAYING:"What we do wonder is if, when the park does reopen at some point, will there be a big rush to get in? I mean, I think some people would want to go on a walk, but we wonder, will people want to go into a restaurant or to a theater or visitor center. So, I think the visitor patterns may be different.”

But while park earnings have temporarily disappeared - the wildlife, like this herd of deer, have reappeared in dazzling ways.

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