Our scenic getaway to the northeast, Lake Tahoe, has long been a popular frolicking spot for bears, and SFist will breathlessly report any and all bear developments particularly when there is video. Bear activity tends to pick up in spring and summer, as these terrific beasts forage for delicious trash and unsecured pick-a-nick baskets to fatten themselves up for the long winter’s nap. Two separate reports of bear-related proceedings came from the Tahoe area yesterday, one a fine celebration of a bear making himself right at home on downtown sidewalks near Tahoe, the other a troubling tale of bear cub fatalities and four little cubbers trying to survive an outbreak of a rare and lethal virus.
Both bear stories are accompanied with video, so you will want to scroll along.
This fine Facebook video from the Placer County Sheriff’s Office obviously should have been shot in landscape mode, but is still an entrancing watch that has rightfully racked up nearly half a million views. An adult black bear has taken break from his country bear jamboree to venture into town at King’s Beach. He seems barely concerned with the arrival of sheriff’s deputy in a cruiser, then trots across a street to look elsewhere for what’s good to eat.
Such bear shenanigans are nothing new for Placer County law enforcement. “Last year, a small one wandered into our sally port (a protected entrance) at the sheriff's station in Tahoe City,” lieutenant Andrew Scott told the Chronicle.
The other story is a little tougher to bear. You’ll have to sit through nine seconds of Dan Ashley in the ABC 7 video above, but then you’ll see three baby cubs romping in their private pool at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care. The problem is that a total of four cubs are battling a deadly adenovirus, according to ABC 7, one that has killed two other cubs in the last three months. All four surviving cubs have tested positive and remain under quarantine.
Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care has taken in some 80 orphaned cubs over the years, according to the Chronicle, generally releasing them back into the wild once they can fend for themselves. But even that caretaking comes with risks.
“Wildlife kept in captivity, even in rehab facilities, tend to be more susceptible to disease, possibly due to the stress of captivity or commingling animals,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Peter Tira told the Chronicle.