Who can stop Hank the Tank? The massive 220-pound black bear has been wreaking havoc in South Lake Tahoe, California, since July. His misdeeds? In search of food, the animal entered 28 homes leaving mayhem in its wake, according to a latest count dated Feb. 17. So far, however, there have been no human casualties.
Hank the Tank, the huge bear terrorizing California by visiting homes
Nicknamed HanktheTank, the bear uses his exceptional physique to break doors and windows.
Paintball shots, sirens, tasers, booby traps. Almost everything has been tried to keep the bear away from homes, Peter Tira, spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the agency in charge of fish, wildlife and plant conservation in California, told the New York Times. For Peter Tira, “it’s easier for the bear to find leftover pizza than it is to get into the woods.”
Euthanasia as a last resort?
Residents have contacted the police more than 100 times since July, mainly because Hank has continued his excursions this winter and thus does not appear to have hibernated.
Authorities now plan to euthanize the animal, which has taken a liking to human food. “This is a bear that is no longer afraid of humans,” explains Peter Tira. It’s a potentially dangerous situation.” But for some, it’s not about killing the animal they describe as “tame and cuddly,” although others fear tragedy.
“It just sits down to eat,” Ann Bryant, executive director of the Bear League , told the New York Times . “He doesn’t attack them and he doesn’t growl,” she adds, preferring that Hank be captured and relocated. For Peter Tira, this would only move the problem elsewhere. And according to him, the shelters that can house the bear are currently full.
On its website, the Bear League reminds people not to feed bears, not to leave doors and windows open, that they should be made of solid material and recommends not to leave garbage cans outside houses so as not to attract them.