Bear trapped, killed in Tahoe Vista neighborhood

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TAHOE VISTA, Calif. (KTXL) -- A bear was captured and killed in Placer County with permission from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The agency confirmed a homeowner in the Tahoe Vista neighborhood received a depredation permit, which allows a property owner to hire a trapper to capture and kill a bear that has repeatedly damaged or destroyed property.

The BEAR League, a Tahoe wildlife advocacy group, shared a photo of the actual trap that was used Friday morning, according to a statement sent by a CDFW public information officer:

California law, specifically Fish and Game Code, section 4181(a-b), grants property owners and tenants the right to request and receive a depredation permit to kill a black bear responsible for repeatedly destroying or damaging property. Depredation permits, however, are a measure of last resort and not issued casually. They are granted only after a thorough investigation has been conducted and only after corrective measures have been taken to prevent and discourage further conflicts. … The depredation permit that was issued in this specific case was for a single bear. The offending bear responsible for the repeated break-ins was captured, euthanized, and the trap has since been removed from the property. A licensed trapper sets the trap and euthanizes the bear, not CDFW.

Whether that was the case here is the subject of much dispute from wildlife advocates who have chimed in on Facebook and spoken with FOX40.

Given the opportunity to defend his actions, the homeowner declined to discuss the incident, saying he wants the whole thing to blow over.

Tahoe wildlife advocate Megan McClintock said the thing to do now is move forward and educate people.

"It's a daily thing. You don't start locking your cars after a bear breaks in and you don't stop locking your cars because you've gone two months without seeing a bear,” she told FOX40. “You basically want to make this a lifestyle. It's every single day. It's something that is a responsibility as a resident in bear country."

McClintock said she does not want people to harass the homeowner. Instead, she encouraged spreading the word that people need to do everything possible to avoid attracting bears.

"You know, things that smell. It could be something as simple as the Chapstick in your car," McClintock said.

Tanya and Jessie Segoviano, who grew up in Tahoe around bears, agree.

"It's pretty simple. Just keep food out of your car, keep trash locked up," Jessie said. "We as humans got to learn to adapt to live with them."

The BEAR League, doubting the CDFW followed its own policy in this case, is calling on residents to contact Governor Gavin Newsom's office and voice their concerns. Wildlife groups are holding a peaceful rally and march in support of bears 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Tahoe Vista Recreation Area and Boat Launch.
The theme of the rally is "coexist."

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