The weather is obviously feeling like winter, to people as well as the bears. Even though we have not yet been seriously snowed under yet, about one third of the local bears have decided to crawl into their winter resting places. Bear activity has slowed in most areas of Tahoe. It’s important to remember, however, that bears do not truly hibernate. They do sleep but will wake up occasionally and may even come out on a nice day to stretch and sun themselves. If they easily find food, (And what bear can resist food?) there’s a good chance they will end their fast and their winter’s nap. So this is no time for residents and visitors to be careless with garbage. It’s our job to encourage the bears to do what’s natural in the winter, to sleep and stay out of trouble.
Alpine Meadows again is the hardest hit area for bear entries into homes where no one is inside. According to evidence from paw prints left behind, it appears to be a mother bear with one cub. It is not known whether the other young 2-year-old is still entering homes. All of these bears avoid homes where people or dogs are inside, or if they even think someone is at home. The best protection is a barking dog alarm set inside the kitchen window or the door.
A Truckee resident called in to complain about a bear getting into the family’s garbage. She had put it outside for years but got tired of picking it up and now is storing it inside an unsecured garage and is very upset with the bear who comes each night and makes a mess. The BEAR League suggested installing a bear resistant garbage enclosure.
Over last weekend a bear went inside three homes in Talmont and got food from a car that wasn’t locked. This is a single medium-sized male. He will not go to homes if someone is inside.
In the Brockway area of Kings Beach, for two nights in a row, a bear got into food from a freezer sitting out on the open front porch. The caller demanded the bear be relocated “before someone shoots him”. The League explained that bears are never relocated in California, and discussed the need to remove available food so the bear will no longer be a bother. The caller was extremely irate and suggested to let the bears have our garbage so they will leave his freezer alone.
Call the BEAR League or the Sheriff if you see a bear attempting to enter a home. The League can be reached at 525-7297 or firstname.lastname@example.org.