Could you imagine walking downstairs in the morning to find a bear rummaging through your refrigerator? Well, A 500-pound bear has become the newest career criminal in a California community. “Hank the Tank,” a name given to him by the residents of the community, has been breaking into homes through garages, windows and doors to find food. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has attempted to keep him away, Hank continues to return, spokesperson Peter Tira told the Times.
California Community Attempts to Keep the Bear Away
Officials have tried to deter the bear with paintballs, bean bags, sirens and Tasers to prevent Hank from returning to the community. “It’s easier to find leftover pizza than to go in the forest,” Tira said. As of Friday, 38 homes in California’s Lake Tahoe area have been damaged by Hank. Over 150 calls have been made to report Hank and his whereabouts, according to CBS Sacramento. Tim Johnson, who lives in the area favored by Hank, says the bear’s presence has made him more vigilant about home security. “I’ve been in town 40 years and I’ve been locking my doors recently and I’ve never done that,” he told the news station.
Bridget Marchetti Phillip, whose neighbor’s house was damaged by bear, told NBC News 4 San Antonio that she is “tired of having to fear our lives quite frankly because of what the bear may or may not do. This has been happening for a very long time and eventually something very, very bad is going to happen.” Many other residents in the California Community have found themselves afraid they could come face to face with Hank. Local residents are now debating whether or not the bear should be euthanized.
Will Officials Euthanize “Hank the Tank?”
Tira says euthanizing Hank is the last thing anyone wants to do. However, he went on to say, “this is a bear that has lost all fear of people. It’s a potentially dangerous situation.” A local group called the BEAR League is attempting to find a place where Hank could live peacefully. “The BEAR League is vehemently opposed to this plan (euthanization), and we are frantically working to save his life by reaching out to various wildlife sanctuaries in hopes of finding him a safe home.”
A 500 pound bear in an enclosed space, such as a house, could be disastrous for an adult. Heaven forbid a small child looking for a glass of water come face to face with “Hank the Tank.” While no one wants to see the bear be euthanized, a bear who is not afraid of people is very very dangerous, as officials have stated. Hopefully the BEAR league will find “Hank the Tank” a home before something truly tragic happens. Do you believe California officials should try to relocate the bear? Are the habits he has created too dangerous for him to be relocated? What do you think California Wildlife officials should do?
Written by: Erinn Malloy