Black Bear Enters California Woman’s Home and Attacks Her

by Lauren Boisvert

A woman in North Lake Tahoe, California was attacked in her home by a black bear on June 16, and the Placer County Sheriff’s Department is urging residents to be aware of their surroundings. In short, “be bear aware.”

In a Facebook post, the department explained the situation; “A victim was attacked by a bear in broad daylight on June 16th […] while taking out the trash. The victim left their front door open, and the bear walked into the home while the victim was outside,” the post read. “The victim had gone back into the home ad came face-to-face with the bear, who scratched the victim’s face and knocked them to the ground. Fortunately, the victim was able to get away from the bear and call 911.”

The post continued, “Deputies responded to the call and found the bear had crawled up a tree near the home. California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife arrived at the home and took the bear.”

The department also had a reminder for residents to have their homes and cars locked at all times. This prevents a bear from wandering inside. “Please leave your house and car doors locked at all times, even if you plan to return within minutes,” they wrote. “Also remember to not leave any food or wrappers, crumbs, etc. lying around in your car or in an unsecured trash can – bears have an extraordinary sense of smell and trust us – they WILL claw their way into anything to get to the food!”

Bear Attacks Woman in Her Home, Police Department Issues Statement About Bear Safety

Additionally, the department made a note for visitors to Lake Tahoe and residents as well; “always be aware of your surroundings,” they wrote, “and do not become complacent with ‘friendly bears’ – they are not! Bears are wild animals, and they have instincts.”

It’s important to remember that; bears are wild, and although black bears look cute and cuddly and are generally skittish, there’s nothing stopping them from getting aggressive. Especially if they perceive you as a threat to themselves, their cubs, their space, or their food. There are many ways to protect yourself from a bear if you come upon one. What you don’t want to do is make any sudden movements or loud noises. You want to talk calmly and low, and slowly move your arms so the bear perceives you as human and not prey or a threat.

According to the National Parks Service, a standing bear is usually curious and is trying to get a better look at you. Make yourself as big as possible, which could include moving to higher ground. If you must move, walk sideways; it’s less threatening and allows you to keep an eye on the bear. Essentially, it’s important to stay calm when faced with a bear; even if that’s the last thing you want to do in the moment.