Bears don't live in Davis, but there have been occasional sightings of bears wandering in or near town. There is one species of bear that lives within wandering distance: the American black bear (Ursus americanus)According to the California Department of Fish and Game range maps, these bears do not actually live anywhere in Yolo County, but they are known to live east and north of Lake Berryessa in Napa County, including directly along the Yolo County line west of Rumsey. Sometimes, though, the bears don't stay within their officially documented range! Below is a brief history of bear sightings in Davis.


A 700 lb Cinnamon Bear was killed about four miles west of Rumsey. In the article it was noted that 50 years prior grizzly bears were quite plentiful in this section and that a man or two was killed within three miles of Davis.


"Graduate student Melanie Truan described the sighting of a 200-pound black bear by four colleagues who were canoeing down Putah Creek on May 20 of this year. The bear swam away, but Truan went out to the scene hoping to make a plaster cast of a bear track. "To my great luck and delight I found tracks in the mud and made a cast," she said, passing the cast around the room in the Alumni and Visitors' Center on the UCD campus." —Putah Creek News, Winter 1999.


  • On a hike along Putah creek in the spring 2010, I saw bear tracks and what sure looked to be an abandoned lair. They were on the north side, just west of the University Airport.


"Bear Caught in the Morning, Freed 5 Hours Later,", June 4, 2019


"Bear Spotted in Davis Struck, Killed on Yolo County Highway, Officials Say," KCRA News, May 4, 2020




Hominid bears locally include the big hairy gay men who use that label to refer to themselves.

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However, bears do exist in other places you may go outside of Davis, so do use caution when you leave the protective Davis borders.