Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 12, 2010

Black Bears Increasingly Aggressive at Lake Tahoe

An American Black Bear (Ursus americanus) at t...

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Bear Versus Human: Escalating Conflicts

The S.F. Chronicle reports the Tahoe area has been plagued by an increasingly large number of aggressive bear incidents. The number of incidents of black bears breaking into houses and businesses has had a large increase in the last year.  Bears have charged and  hit people who have confronted them.  California Department of Fish and Game report the number of  bear incidents is unprecedented .  This year 62 permits  have been issued to have bears removed or killed due to the aggression and destruction.   This is compared to only 29 permits last year.

The California Black Bear (Ursus americanus californiensi) is traditionally shy and has historically often avoided contact with humans.  The main reason for the large number of incidents is believed to be the growth in California Black Bear population  from  4,080 in 1984 to  over 37,000 today.   As the number of bears increases, the food needs of the bear population have greatly expanded.   The large increase in the number of bears  is believed to be due  to restricted  hunting and limited predation.  The conflict with humans is unavoidable.  The solution will not be easy.  Read article at SF Gate: Black bears wreaking havoc in Lake Tahoe area.

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