(NYT) - Since the summer, a black bear known as Hank the Tank has made a 500-pound nuisance of himself in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., breaking into more than two dozen homes to rummage for food and leaving a trail of damage behind.
So far, nobody has been able to deter Hank, said Peter Tira, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Department officials and the local police have tried to “haze” the bear with paintballs, bean bags, sirens and Tasers, but he is too drawn to humans and their food to stay away for long.
“It’s easier to find leftover pizza than to go in the forest,” Mr. Tira said on Sunday.
Residents have called the police about Hank more than 100 times since July as he continues to rampage through Tahoe Keys, a gated community about 190 miles northeast of San Francisco.
Now the authorities are trying to trap Hank and possibly euthanize him.
The residents are quick to point out that Hank is gentle and sweet. When he breaks into a home, he is far more interested in the food than any people who may be inside, Ms. Bryant said.
“He just sits there and eats,” she said. “He doesn’t attack them. He doesn’t growl. He doesn’t make rude faces.”
I'll never understand people. I've been a people for 32 years now and my understanding of others is no more than when I was but a youngin'. Per my understanding, Lake Tahoe is the woods. Woods, historically, are where bears live. This reads like a bunch of people took over the bears' home and are upset the bears still live there. It's not as if there was a meeting with the bears, with construction plans laid out, plans for malls and shopping centers, with the bear community before the bulldozers showed up. There have been entire cartoon institutions built off the backs of bears stealing food from human beings, I missed a few episodes towards but I don't remember the park ranger ever deciding that the solution was to let the yopper sing on Yogi and Boo-Boo.
I get not wanting a hungry 500-lb bear near your children. Bears, despite how huggable they look, are EXTREMELY un-huggable. Which is one of the more fucked up tricks God ever played on his children of the Earth. Why make an animal so hilarious looking, so cuddly, and fill it with a murderous rage and the strike force to rip a man's face of with a single swipe? Imagine how many original humans were lost thinking bears were large dogs? I know that's how I would've been un-alived had I been born in any of the years before literacy was invented.
But if this community is so hellbent on removing the Hank the Tank problem, may I offer a simple solution before turning the shotgun on him? Eliminate Ms. Bryant from the equation. I'm not saying she has to go bye-bye permanently but I guarantee if you move her elsewhere the Tank wont be coming by nearly as often. How does she know so much about Hank's eating habits? This report only lists the homes Henry has broken into. Doesn't say shit about the houses he was welcomed into with open arms, with a seat at the table and a freshly cooked meal placed in front of him. I don't know how much discarded food these people have laying around but I find it hard to believe this bear is twice his natural weight only eating scraps. And he's far too out of shape to be hunting on his own. Hank keeps coming back because he and Ms. Bryant have some sort of relationship and that much is as clear to me as the day is long. Who describes a bear as having "rude faces" that's perhaps the largest red flag I've seen since they announced Denmark at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.