By Helen Duan
Tahoe is a bear country. People who have lived in Lake Tahoe have had bear encounters and many stories of it to tell. For example, once someone was riding their mountain bike on the beautiful trails behind the North Shore neighborhood and ran into a mama bear and her cubs. Another time, when a family was not in their house, a bear knocked open the door and went inside the house. The bear found a tray full of pastries and gobbled down the pastries. Tensions between bears and humans are very high. Ann Bryant, who is the go-to bear expert, has been receiving many calls this year during the summer. Many reports were about bear sightings, break-ins, or worse. In the “What Have We Done to Our Bears?,” an article from SF Gate, Bryant says, “A lot of folks, unfortunately, do not have a clue about the rules for visiting and vacationing and staying in bear country. People call because they saw a bear and think he escaped, like, 'Do not they live in a zoo? What is a bear doing walking loose?' It has just been mind-boggling, the attitude.” Those are things that happen in Tahoe, the bear country.
Bears are considered as threats in Lake Tahoe. Bears usually come down from the hills to find food. They are seen near human turf or dumpsters. Sometimes, they enter homes. When they smell food nearby, they will follow the scent until they find what they are looking for. When a human blocks a bear from entering a store, the bear will scratch or bite the human, which will be the bear’s doomed- the bear will die- because the human will either shoot the bear or call the animal control department. Bears are considered as threats, but we are considered threats to bears too.
Bryant’s Bear League is trying to prevent situations between bears and humans. "The bear became the bad guy because people ignored what you should do: the rules for securing and taking care of your trash so you don’t attract the bears,” Bryant says in the “What Have We Done to Our Bears?” A few fundamental things are the following:
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