August 31, 2007
Bear activity is dramatically on the rise and homeowners will have problems if all precautionary advice is not taken seriously. The BEAR League, Sheriff’s Department and the Department of Fish and Game strongly encourage residents to close and lock all ground floor and accessible doors and windows when not at home or while sleeping.
Bears are unable to find enough food and water in the forest due to the drought and the fires and so are coming into neighborhoods. Bears who previously have not been in the area are coming from the backcountry toward Lake Tahoe and the Truckee River and if they smell food inside a house and can get at it they are entering in order to eat and survive.
Summer residents are strongly encouraged to remove all food from the cabins before closing up over Labor Day. If a bear smells no enticing odors from inside he will pass by without incident. Bears are not interested in anything other than eating. They do not waste time if it holds no promise of a food reward.
Reports continue to come in every day of bears getting into trash in and . It is illegal to allow a bear access to garbage. Irresponsible residents who are not familiar with appropriate etiquette for living in bear territory are causing problems for those who are trying to do everything right.
A bear with a broken front paw attempted to rest under a boat house in and the homeowner called in order to have him evicted as she was concerned about him being so close to her house. BEAR League personnel rousted him out and he ran off on three legs and has not returned.
A resident in left his window open and a bear went inside and raided his kitchen. He called the DFG and requested a permit to have the bear killed. A bear, no one knows which one, was trapped and killed, but bears continue to enter homes through more open doors and windows.
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In a home was entered and the bear turned on a stovetop burner while ransacking the kitchen. Thankfully, a neighbor realized something was amiss and turned off the electric burner before any fire damage occurred. This is a prime example of the necessity for residents to take every possible precaution to keep bears from gaining access to their homes. It may be a nuisance to remove food between vacation visits but a fire started by a bear who smells the food inside an unoccupied cabin could ultimately burn down the Tahoe Basin.
As a direct result of the Washoe Fire, numerous sightings of bears are being reported in . One large 3-year-old male was eating apples from a tree on when morning broke and he was frightened up a nearby Jeffrey Pine. The area quickly became a gathering place for residents and visitors to take photographs, and families with children arrived to spend the day at the beach. The determination was made by Animal Control, Placer County Sheriff’s Office and the BEAR League to keep the bear up the tree until the day ended and darkness fell. The risk could not be taken that he would run down onto the crowded beach and alarm anyone, or dart out into the busy street. BEAR League personnel stayed with him all day and then allowed him to quietly come down after dark.
A mother bear was shot at while in a tree near the beach on Mackinaw Road in by a resident who complained of bears continuously getting into his trash, which is not kept in a bear-proof bin. The bear fell from the tree and died. The death of the mother orphaned a cub, who wailed in the tree for several hours and then ran across the road onto the golf course. The BEAR League was given authority by the Department of Fish and Game to rescue the cub. He was captured and is now safe and being cared for, though he continues to cry for his dead mother.