The exceptionally large black bear “Hank the Tank” has broken into at least 28 homes near Lake Tahoe in California since last summer. The animal is looking for pizza and other leftovers and now weighs about 226 kilograms, the New York Times writes.
De Telegraaf, The New York Times
“So far, no one has been able to stop Hank,” Peter Terra, a spokesperson for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, told the New York Times. Local police and department officials tried to chase the bear away with paintball guns, sirens, and electric detonators. But the black bear is so attracted to people and their food that they stay away for a long time. “It’s easier to find leftover pizza than to go into the woods,” says Tera.
Lake Tahoe residents have called the police more than 100 times since July. But Hank, as the locals call him, continues his rampage in town. The authorities are now trying to arrest Hank and possibly euthanize him. “This is a bear that has lost all fear of humans,” said Tira. “It’s a potentially dangerous situation.”
big but sweet
The average black bear weight in the western United States is about 45 to 136 pounds, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Weighing in at 226 pounds, the Hank is “exceptionally large” and can break out of garages, windows, and doors due to its size and strength.
Although Hank caused a lot of physical damage, residents report that the animal is cute and gentle. According to local authorities, the bear has not yet harmed people. “When he breaks into a house, he’s much more interested in the food than all the people in the house are,” said one Bryant resident. “He just sits there and eats,” she says. “He doesn’t attack them. He doesn’t roar. He doesn’t make blunt faces. Why would this big doll die?” Bryant says.
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