Black Bears Breaking Into Lake Tahoe Homes, Residents Warned

by Megan Molseed
(Photo by: Ron Reznick/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Black bears all around the country are preparing to hibernate for the cold months. And, part of this process is seeking out plenty of food to help the animals bulk up for the month’s long slumber. However, this means that some bears are pushing the boundaries in some instances, breaking into homes in search of some of these delicious pre-hibernation goodies. As a result, officials in these areas are warning residents to be cautious.

Lake Tahoe Residents Are Warned To Be Cautious Of Hungry Bears As Hibernation Season Begins

Black bears are preparing for the hibernation break. And some Lake Tahoe homes are seeing unusual activity as some of these wild animals are looking indoors for some high-calorie pre-hibernation meals.

This time of year, bears are searching to gorge on food that amounts to four times their regular calorie intake. This, of course, is to prepare the bear for a long winter slumber. However, this is causing issues for Lake Tahoe residents as some of these animals are getting way too close for comfort.

According to one expert, Toogee Sielsch these bears are entering a phase called hyperphagia. This means that the animals are searching to consume several times their regular caloric intake in preparation for hibernation.

“They’ve ramped up their calorie intake up four times their normal calorie intake,” the expert explains.

“To prepare for winter and for overwintering in their den,” Sielsch continues adding that the average adult male bear takes in about 20,000 calories a day.

One Tahoe City Home’s Pantry Served As The Perfect Buffet For One Unexpected Wild Visitor

One of these hungry animals found its way into a Tahoe City home recently. Breaking into the residence through a stained glass window.

“He or she came in through a stained glass window on the side of the house that goes into the bathroom,” the homeowner, Ben Leech says.

“It’s not a window that could be opened,” Leech adds of the breaking. “It’s just a decorative window.”

The proof of this break-in was found on the outside of the home where the bear left claw marks. Bear paw prints were also found on the bathroom wall. As if breaking in and stealing food wasn’t enough, this intruder knocked over cabinets which in turn started the water. A move that caused further damage to the home. Ultimately, the bear discovered some tempting honey in the pantry after rummaging through the refrigerator and cabinets.

“You can see where the bear walked around the house because there were flour paw prints everywhere,” Leech explains of the break-in. “It went upstairs into my bedroom and left me a surprise right beside the bed and some more down here.”

“They’re engaging in bolder behaviors,” Sielsch says of the hungry intruders. “And that’s what we are seeing are these bold behaviors,” Sielsch said.

Sielsch advises residents who live in areas known for bear activity to not leave any food, out in the open. This, Sielsch says includes pet food or food inside birdfeeders. He also advised that residents cover trash to keep from attracting bears to their property.