Bear report |

Bear report

Discussions were initiated this week by the BEAR League with the California Department of Fish and Game in hopes of brainstorming, receiving input, and finding a solution to the high numbers of bears who feel comfortable in and around people’s yards and homes.

Relocation of juveniles and food drops in the backcountry were suggested but the Department of Fish and Game said these steps would not be effective and simply suggested that human residents and visitors be ever more diligent in making their yards and homes unattractive to bears. Many people are already doing this and are still suffering bear visits, most often in areas where there are restaurant Dumpster or construction sites nearby.

Fish and Game asked that the BEAR League continue to educate, which has been ongoing for over nine years now, in order to help explain that the problem will get worse if people don’t do everything possible to keep bears from frequenting the neighborhoods. The problem, seen clearly by those of us who live here, is that the bears must pass by our homes in order to reach the lake or the creeks and rivers. They will then follow their noses to food and where there are people there is food.

More cooperation from the Department of Fish and Game was expected than was received and the BEAR League desperately wants to help but has now officially had our hands tied. So, again, please lock your doors and windows, install double-pane glass, remove French and Dutch doors … imagine a relentless invasion is on the way and all steps must be taken to keep the refrigerator raiders from gaining entry into the house.

Bear hunting season has begun, as it always does in California, but most people find this disturbing and the numbers of bears killed by hunters is lessening each year. Tahoe’s roads have claimed 64 bears and that number goes up each day. Numerous bears have been killed legally by depredation permit and illegally by people who shoot them. The results of the forensic testing of the nursing mother bear shot two weeks ago in on Mackinaw revealed the cause of death … a bullet killed her instantly.

A homeowner called from to explain that she had a bear enter her home several weeks ago and was furious over this travesty at first. She then discussed how her common sense took over and she realized bears are just being bears and she is no longer wishing them all dead and instead asked for advice on how to do everything possible to outwit them (which is not an easy task but is certainly possible with human perseverance). This woman is to be commended for her responsible ‘bear country’ attitude.

A long-time homeowner from reported doing everything the BEAR League recommended after having two bears come into her home and has since had no problems even when gone for weeks at a time on vacations.

Evidence was present of a bear perhaps being under a crawl space at a home in He was no longer there but had used the location as a den site in the past. In approximately two months bears will be searching for appropriate den sites for winter and residents are all strongly encouraged to securely close up crawl space openings before the bears discover them. Each winter BEAR League personnel wake up and evict dozens of bears from under homes where doors had been left wide open by the owners or caretakers.

Another mother bear was killed on Highway 89 by just south of Her death orphaned two very small nursing cubs. One cub was captured and saved but the other ran off and has been seen lying next to his mother’s body crying and attempting to nurse. Please call the BEAR League to report any sightings of this helpless little bear.

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