KINGS BEACH (CBS13) – Law enforcement officials in the Lake Tahoe area would like tourists to remember the saying “don’t poke the bear.”

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office says, a few days ago, deputies were in the Kings Beach area and saw that tourists had cornered a large bear against a fence. The tourists were busy snapping photos of the bear, apparently unaware of the danger they were putting themselves in.

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Deputies say this was not your average bear. This Kings Beach native is a bear known as “Mr. T-Shirt,” who got his name due to a large white patch of fur on his chest.

Mr. T-Shirt tips the scale at around 400 pounds, the sheriff’s office says.

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Like most California black bears, Mr. T-Shirt is normally docile and will shy away from confrontations with humans. However, this recent incident highlighted a situation where Mr. T-Shirt – and any bear, for that matter – could get agitated and attack.

Bear attacks in California are not completely unheard of. Often times, attacks happen when the bear gets cornered, like what happened to one man back in 2018 when he faced off with a bear that got into his Fallen Leaf Lake cabin.

Authorities say people should keep in mind that bears have instincts.

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