LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) — A Sierra bear was trapped and killed, but now the man who set off the controversial chain of events is receiving death threats.
That man would not speak on the record, but others in the area were quite vocal about the issue. Neighbors in the North Shore enclave of Tahoe Vista are upset after a local resident called the Department of Fish and Wildlife to trap a nuisance two-year-old black bear that was killed Friday.
“I think it’s crazy and most of the people here thought it was nuts. All of the neighbors,” Al Schultz said.
The homeowner was fed up with bears breaking into his car, so he called the DFW, who eventually set up a bear trap on his property. The bear was captured overnight and killed.
Local bear advocate Megan McClintock voiced frustration and anger on Friday.
“It’s devastating. The community is up in heat about it. I’ve been on the phone with multiple people today,” McClintock said. “Who knows if the bear that was in that trap was the bear that caused the damage to his home or to his vehicles? Who knows if there was damage, it’s just unnecessary.”
Under state law, homeowners and tenants can use the depredation policy to apply for a legal permit to kill the bear on any problem animal. DFW says it’s last resort only after an investigation and education are the permits granted.
“I’m not for that at all. If you’re up in Tahoe, you expect to see bears. This is where they live,” Michele Immenschuh said.
Under the law, even the bear named “T-shirt” who is known to Placer County Sheriff’s deputies, for ravaging dumpsters in Kings Beach, could meet the same end.
“I’ve been here for 27 years, no one’s ever done anything like that,” Schultz said.
McClintock hopes a protest planned for Saturday will garner support to ensure a bear will never again lost it’s life over complaints from homeowners.
“We need to be diligent when it comes to bear activity up here, and what we can do to prevent the unnecessary death of a community member really,” McClintock said.
A DFW spokesperson said the bear was handled by a licensed trapper, not someone from their department.