SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Bears are out of hibernation and on the move around Lake Tahoe.
“They’re so fun to watch,” said South Lake Tahoe resident Tammy Hoy as she watched a mother and two cubs roam her neighborhood. “We’ve never seen a mama with babies that small.”
The bears in Hoy’s neighborhood were not getting into garbage or trying to break down doors. They were simply roaming around and eating grass in an area where nature and development intersect.
“It’s an exciting time right now,” said Toogee Sielsch of the Bear League. “Bears are out.”
The Bear League works to promote harmony between bears and humans.
The bears are feasting on spring grasses right now. But when people leave human or pet food accessible to them, or leave cars unlocked, problems sometimes arise.
On Friday, two bears got into a car in a South Lake Tahoe driveway. Photographer David Miller shot video of some the young bears exploring the car. He posted the video on a Facebook page he created called “Dave The Bear Hunter.”
He is not hunting bears in the traditional sense, only with a camera capturing images. One of his objectives at the time he shot the video was to use noise and disruption to cause the bears to move along, away from the car. The bears did wander off.
“This is their home,” Sielsch explained of the bears. “They’re moving through their corridors of travel. But we live here now. So it’s part of our job to enjoy them being there and try not to bother them. But when they encroach on our side, instead of having to trap them or anything…we just show a little force.”
By “force,” Sielsch is referring to humane aversion techniques used by the Bear League, typically loud aggressive noises directed at the bears, scaring them away from homes and into their natural forest habitat.
The bear League has contact information and many educational resources about bears at www.savebears.org.