Tahoe snow starts to melt, but not fast enough for these hungry bears

J.R. Stone Image
Friday, April 14, 2023
Tahoe's hungry bears on the prowl for food as snow starts to melt
If you're headed to Lake Tahoe, don't leave food in your car. Most of the bears that had been hibernating are up and on the move looking for food.

LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (KGO) -- If you're headed to Lake Tahoe in the coming days or weeks, don't leave food in your car. Most of the bears that had been hibernating are back out and on the move looking for food. The snowmelt is happening but not fast enough in many areas.

"Unfortunately they do have the power of cuteness but you have to kind of put that in the back of your mind that is a very large, very dangerous wild animal!"

Chris Joseph of Keep Tahoe Blue says his colleague recorded video from her dining room in the Sierra a couple of weeks ago. She made sure to be as loud as she could so the bears knew, they weren't welcome.

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"We've had a lot of calls like that, them going up to windows and you know pushing on doors a little bit to see if they can get in. They all know there is food in houses they've known that for years so we're really encouraging people to keep their doors and windows locked," said Ann Bryant of BEAR League.

Bryant recently recorded video of a mama Bear known as Jacuzzi and her cubs. A few of the nearly 150 Bears that were under homes this year during hibernation.

But now snow is melting and along with the bears coming out, like the massive one seen walking down the street recently in Tahoe City, vehicles are also emerging under snow banks, and we're seeing broken sleds that were just left on the ground.

"As that melts it's not just the plants and the flowers and animals that are coming back out, it's the litter that's emerging and blooming itself," said Joseph.

Chris sent us these photos showing those with the League to Save Lake Tahoe busy cleaning up the littered sleds.

Bryant says that while the snow is melting, it still covers the ground in many areas and they are especially concerned about mama bears being able to find food.

"Bears don't just sit and wait for the snow to melt and sit and think, well we're hungry but what are we gonna do? They go find food so they're gonna be moving and they're gonna be pretty intent on finding whatever they can. They're going to be heading down into the Carson range and down into the Reno area and the foothills of the Auburn area. They're going to move because they got to find food," said Bryant.

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