EXCLUSIVE: Bear caught on camera strolling through slopes at Lake Tahoe

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Monday, January 15, 2024
EXCLUSIVE: Bear caught on camera on the slopes at Lake Tahoe
It was the sight of the season when a family from San Francisco and Sacramento spotted a bear on the Tahoe slopes.

LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (KGO) -- It was the sight of the season when a family from San Francisco and Sacramento spotted a bear on the Tahoe slopes.

Danielle Brill and her family are on a belated Christmas ski and snowboarding trip at Heavenly Mountain Resort. While making a run at Heavenly Friday afternoon, Brill was shocked to see a black bear on the snow.

"I see the bear in the middle of the run, so I stopped, took my snowboard off, thinking I would want to be able to leave in a hurry."

Brill's quick reflexes allowed her to grab her phone to record the animal as it eventually climbed up a tree.

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A little later, she spotted the animal again, but this time noticed a man appearing to approach the animal -- and that's when things got intense.

"It was adrenaline," beamed Brill, who continued to describe the next few minutes. "I think he got spooked and started running full force. He just wanted to get out of there and I'm glad I wasn't in the line of full force running."

Brill apparently did the right thing.

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Ann Bryant from the Bear League at Lake Tahoe says when you come across a bear, it's best to give it space.

"Bears have a boundary they're comfortable with, when you cross it, 20 feet, sometimes, it's 50 feet. So when the man was coming up behind him, that was it, he had to get out of there."

Bryant says bears look for an escape route.

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"You can't block him in, and you can't put pressure on him because they're gonna get out of there and if you're in their way, they'll run over you to escape. It won't be to harm you, it's because they're afraid and they want to get away."

A Heavenly Mountain Resort spokesperson says guests should treat the animals with respect and keep their distance. They also recommend reporting any sightings to U.S. Fish and Wildlife and alerting ski patrol and mountain safety and security teams when needed.

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