Bear selfies could cause Lake Tahoe park closures
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Last fall, during the annual Kokanee salmon spawn, officials were alarmed that visitors to Taylor Creek Visitor Center at Lake Tahoe’s South Shore were taking selfies with bears.
This year, in anticipation of the possibility, federal officials are threatening to close the area to keep the public safe.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Nevada Department of Wildlife and the U.S. Forest Service are asking visitors to keep their distance when encountering bears, according to a news release issued this week.
Visitor center staff routinely encounter unsafe situations when guests ignore posted instructions and get close to bears to take photos and videos. Bears are unpredictable wild animals and may attack if they feel threatened. Wildlife authorities may kill bears if they attack people.
The federal and state agencies do not encourage visits to see bears and advise the public to stay away from bears, as they may be dangerous wild animals.
At Taylor Creek, visitors should stay on trails, respect wildlife and keep a safe distance if bears are present.
Never approach bears for any reason, including a photo opportunity. If visitors continue to disregard directions to stay away from bears at Taylor Creek, the Forest Service may close the area for public safety.