A 500-pound bear has been recently causing havoc in the South Lake Tahoe area in his attempts to access food. While most bears hibernate in winter, this bear is dubbed "Hank the Tank" on account of its massive size is described by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife as a "severely food-habituated bear." This means that Hank not only has no fear of people but associates them with access to food.
So far Hank the Tank has managed to break into 28 homes by using his immense size and strength to make short work of doors and windows in his search for food.
According to an article published by npr.org, the state is considering a special trapping effort in order to remove Hank from his favorite stomping grounds in the South Lake Tahoe area. Once captured, it will be determined whether he would be released into a controlled habitat or euthanized.
The Bear League, a local nonprofit for the protection of bears has been reaching out to wildlife sanctuaries who might be willing to take in Hank the Tank. This is what the Bear League had to say in an interview with npr.org: "Hank hangs out in the Keys quite often because he has been continuously rewarded with food stored in unsecured garages (the Key's management has not allowed bear boxes because they deem them 'unsightly')."
As a result of these bear break-ins, the police department has updated its guidelines to allow residents to apply to their homeowner's associations for a bear box.
Residents of the Lake Tahoe area are being urged to take more care in storing their food and disposing of their garbage.