‘Hank the Tank,’ the bear behind 21 home invasions, has been captured near Lake Tahoe

“Hank the Tank,” a female bear behind 21 home invasions, has been captured by wildlife biologists near Lake Tahoe and slated for relocation.

Bear saga unpacked: The bear, formally known as Bear 64F, was caught on Friday with her three young cubs, having been linked to 21 cases of breaking and entering.
* Reports of conflict behavior, including 28 home break-ins, have been attributed to this bear since February 2022.
* DNA testing revealed that the bear was female, contradicting initial assumptions based on visual information that the bear was male.

The community’s role: The bear’s behavior has been blamed on unsecured garbage cans and habitat encroachment by community members.
* Local residents rescued her from euthanization by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife due to “widespread interest.”
* Following this, the community of Tahoe Keys revised a policy that formerly forbade residents from using temporary storage structures, including bear boxes.

What happens next: “Hank the Tank” and her cubs are being relocated and rehabilitified, with hopes they can eventually be returned to the wild.
* Bear 64F will be moved to a sanctuary in Colorado after receiving veterinary clearance, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

By the numbers: Bear 64F is one of roughly 500 bears in the Lake Tahoe region, with an average female black bear weight being up to 275 pounds, while males can weigh over 500 pounds.
* They primarily eat a plant-based diet, consisting of berries, seeds, and insects, but their diet demonstrates adaptability to their environment.

In their words: Dr. Staci Baker, a veterinarian with local nonprofit BEAR League, emphasizes the importance of residents maintaining a “bear-safe” community by securing garbage.
* She states that “bear-proof containers work. If everyone did not leave garbage, the bears would go somewhere else.”

View original article on NPR

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