When Bears Turn Bad

Hungry bears around Lake Tahoe whose usual feeding grounds were burned have been venturing into human territory looking for food. According to the Contra Costa Times

“We’re seeing a huge increase in the number of (bear) entries into homes,” said Ann Bryant, executive directive of the Bear League, which advises Tahoe basin residents on bear conflicts. “We also have never had so many calls to our office where people sight bears where they’ve never seen them before. The bears are bewildered.” …

The Lake Tahoe Wildlife Center in South Lake Tahoe received about six calls about bears a day, double normal levels, in the two weeks after the fire.

The number is down this week, but it’s still higher than normal, said Cheryl Millham, the center’s executive director. …

“When you have people that leave windows and doors open, the bears are going to be tempted,” Millham said. … One woman who called Millham’s center had placed ripening peaches on her kitchen windowsill and left the window open. A bear picked up the scent.

“The bear ripped off the screen, ate the peaches, and spit the pits back inside,” Millham said.

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