DNA Evidence Proves “Hank the Tank” Isn’t the Only Bear Guilty of Home Break-Ins

By author of The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

At least three bears are responsible for damaging more than 30 homes in the South Lake Tahoe area

Recent DNA evidence has revealed that damage to more than 30 properties around South Lake Tahoe that had recently been blamed on one 500-pound bear nicknamed “Hank the Tank” was actually caused by three different bears. Area residents have called in more than 150 incident reports concerning the bears over the past few months.

According to NBC Bay Area, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) plans to trap the bears so they can tag them and collect evidence for genetic analysis.  

Although other bears are also guilty of the break-ins, Hank is still considered a community nuisance with one CDFW official saying he is a "severely food habituated bear that has lost all fear of people."

“What’s problematic about this bear is how large it is,” Peter Tira, a spokesman for the CDFW, told SF Gate. “It’s learned to use that size and strength to break into a number of occupied residences, bursting through the garage door or front door."

The CDFW had originally considered euthanizing the big bear when it believed the single animal was responsible for all of the break-ins. Now, instead of that, the department plans to trap and release them into a more suitable habitat.

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