SIERRA (CBS13) — It’s that time of year when the warmer weather in Lake Tahoe means spring, and spring means bears. Residents are reporting close encounters with bears as they are now wandering in search of food.
Local experts, including Ann Bryant, the executive director of the Bear League, are now busy offering tips to protect the bears and the humans. Just two weeks ago a 650-pound black bear wandered into a Truckee trailer park.
“Bears are out. The only ones that aren’t out of the dens are the newborns because they are too tiny, but everyone else is up and they are everywhere,” Bryant said.
She has spotted bears in the unlikeliest places, such as crawl spaces.
“Each year there are more and more bears that hibernate under crawl spaces. When I first started doing this 22 years ago, it was pretty rare. We had five maybe all winter long, and now they’ve caught on,” Bryant said.
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Now that they are out and about, its space they need and space that needs to be respected.
“If you see a bear and it’s in your yard, you need to tell him ‘you can’t be here.’ Stomp your feet and shake your fist and tell him to get out of here,” Bryant said.
In Tahoe, most homeowners have bear bins that are only accessible by humans, but Bryant said you still have to secure your home.
“Open garage doors are a no-no. Leaving back doors open because it’s a nice sunny day…they’ll come in,” Bryant said.
If you live in the Sierra, it’s bad news for most bears. if people have a problem, just call Bryant.
“People can call us. We are happy to coach, to come out and inspect and see if you’ve got a potential problem,” Bryant said.
Bryant said the bears are more scared of humans and no one has ever been killed by a black bear in California history. It’s a good idea to secure your food, empty the drain pan on your barbeque, and hope for the best.