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Bear known as “Hank the Tank” breaks into another Lake Tahoe home

▶ Watch Video: Plan to put down 500-pound bear behind break-ins sparks backlash

A 500-pound bear broke into a home in South Lake Tahoe on Friday — and it isn’t the first time. The bear, known as “Hank the Tank,” has broken into dozens of homes in the area and become quite a problem for locals, CBS Sacramento reports

Locals are contemplating whether or not to have the bear killed, as they believe it may be the only option at this point.

The bear is well-known and now wanted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. A spokesperson said the bear has damaged dozens of homes and is responsible for more than 150 calls.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife have been trying to track Hank for more than six months.

“These are neighborhoods, there’s a lot of people around, traffic and cars. So, we have to do this in a way that is safe for both the public and the bear itself,” said spokesperson Peter Tira. “This is a severely food habituated bear. What that means is this is a bear that has lost all fear of people and it sees people and homes as a source of food.”

The most recent break-in took place on Catalina Drive Friday morning. The bear had broken a small window and squeezed into the home, where the homeowners had no idea how to get him out.

Officers responded and banged on the outside of the house until Hank came out the back door. They then stayed in the area to ensure he continued on his way without damaging or entering other homes.

“I’ve been in town 40 years and I’ve been locking my doors recently and I’ve never done that,” said one local resident, Tim Johnson. 

Killing it is a move the Bear League calls cruel and unnecessary.

“We don’t want anybody to get hurt. Nobody wants that,” one person said. “We don’t want the bear to die either.”

The Bear League said it’s still waiting to hear back from Fish and Wildlife about a possible sanctuary move. Meanwhile, a meeting on the issue is set for Wednesday night in Tahoe Keys.



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