After sneaking into a home and having a confrontation with the homeowner, a bear has been captured and euthanized in North Lake Tahoe.
On June 16th, a woman walked out of her home on the 3100-block of North Lake Tahoe Boulevard to take out the trash, briefly leaving the front door open in the process. In that short timespan, a bear snuck into her home, leading to a face-to-face confrontation with the homeowner. The bear knocked the woman to the ground and scratched her face before fleeing.
Wildlife officials found the bear in a nearby tree and shot it down with a tranquilizer. The bear tumbled down the tree, hitting a corner of the roof during the fall. After DNA results showed it was the bear who had broken into the home, the choice was made to euthanize it.
For bears who get into human confrontations like this, it’s protocol for wildlife officials to euthanize the animal, fearing their aggressive behavior could lead to future incidents with worse results. It’s also a lesson for visitors and homeowners in the Tahoe Basin to take every precaution necessary to avoid bear interactions.
“Please leave your house and car doors locked at all times, even if you plan to return within minutes,” wrote the Placer County Sheriff on Instagram. “Also remember to not leave any food or wrappers, crumbs, etc. lying around in your car or in an unsecured trash can – bears have an extraordinary sense of smell and trust us – they WILL claw their way into anything to get to the food!”
While some bears in the Tahoe area may be skittish while trying to get some human food, others have become so comfortable with their human neighbors that they will calmly get whatever they can whenever they can. After the Caldor Fire, which destroyed much of the Tahoe bear population’s natural habitat in the region, officials predict even more bear incidents could occur this summer.
For more information on being bear aware in Tahoe, go here.