Department of Fish and Wildlife launches new blog on Tahoe bear activity | SierraSun.com
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Department of Fish and Wildlife launches new blog on Tahoe bear activity

A bear hops a fence in a neighborhood of South Lake Tahoe.
Claire Cudahy / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Following an active summer of encounters between people and bears in the Tahoe Basin, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has launched a blog on its website to offer residents and visitors information on bear activity.

“It’s been a busy summer in Lake Tahoe with regard to bear activity and conflicts,” said Jordan Traverso, CDFW’s deputy director of communications, in a news release. “One of the things we’ve learned from this is that there is a tremendous hunger among residents for reliable, truthful and practical information about bear activity and (California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s) policies, management and response to that activity. We expect this new blog to help address that information void.”

The recently launched Bear Naked Truth blog can be found on the department of fish and wildlife’s website at http://www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/mammals/black-bear/blog. The blog features contact information for dealing with bears, links to fish and wildlife’s bear policies, and best practices for living and recreating safely in bear country.

The launch of the blog comes after a bear in Kings Beach was caught on camera entering the Safeway, the Chevron and at a family gathering where it ate a birthday cake.

“Our responsibilities regarding bears in the Tahoe Basin, and all of California for that matter, are ensuring a healthy black bear population, public safety and education.”— Jordan TraversoCalifornia Department of Fish and Wildlife deputy director of communications

The bear was identified through an old tag in its left ear and DNA analysis, which, according to fish and wildlife, was collected from the scenes of the business break-ins.

Due to its behavior, the animal was classified as a habituated bear under fish and wildlife’s bear policy. Habituated bears, according to the department of fish and wildlife, show no overt reactions to people as a result of repeated exposure with no negative consequences. Because the bear was hazed multiple times with no resulting changes to its behavior or response to humans, the department determined a different strategy was required, and a trapping effort was conducted in early September, resulting in the bear being caught. The bear was taken to the department’s Wildlife Investigations Lab near Sacramento for a health and wellness evaluation, which revealed that the bear was male and more than 16 years old. The bear also had a poorly healed injury on its left hind foot. DNA samples were also taken by the department’s Wildlife Forensics Lab, which confirmed the bear’s DNA matched the samples gathered at the Kings Beach incidents.

The bear was later tagged with a GPS tracking collar and released in a large expanse of wild where the department says, as of Sept. 29, it remains. The department will continue to monitor the bear’s whereabouts.

“Our responsibilities regarding bears in the Tahoe Basin, and all of California for that matter, are ensuring a healthy black bear population, public safety and education,” added Traverso. “This blog will help advance those goals. Bears can become public safety threats if they become comfortable around people and dependent on human food and garbage. Keeping these bears wild for their own well-being and the well-being of those who live and vacation in Lake Tahoe is in everybody’s best interest.”

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com or 530-550-2643.


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