A community in South Lake Tahoe is looking for a black bear, nicknamed “Hank the Tank.” This 500 pound black bear has been causing real havoc in the community for a while. The locals are distraught over what to do next. Some are for trapping and relocating the bear while others want it killed.
So far, Hank the Tank has damaged over 35 properties and has avoided being trapped. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has failed to trap the bear for the past six months. Due to high traffic of cars and people, the opportunity has not been presented for safe capture. The spokesperson for California DFW Peter Tira said that Hank is a “severely food habituated bear” which means he is used to people and relies on their homes for food.
Since this giant black bear is not self-sufficient in the wild, he won’t do good in the wild. If he is to be trapped and released in the wild, he would die. People also don’t want the bear to be killed. The Bear League calls this option unnecessary and cruel. So what would be the best option for this chunky-hunky black bear? Some locals are hoping that the bear will be trapped and placed in sanctuary. This way the bear would be provided with food and has a chance at surviving. Other people also see this option as cruel, removing the bear from the environment it knows.
What’s Next for Hank?
Over 150 calls have been made about Hank the Tank. The last call was made on Friday, when Hank broke a homeowner’s window and squeezed himself inside. The police came and banged at the front of the house so the bear would leave through the back door.
A local resident of 40 years said that this is the first time he has started locking his doors to avoid being the next victim. On Wednesday, there will be a meeting in Tahoe Keys discussing the issue. What do you think the community should do?