A Lake Tahoe, California family heard some loud and odd noises coming from the crawl space beneath their home. They figured it might have been an animal of some kind (even a bear), so they called a local bear-welfare organization, BEAR League, for help.
‘There’s a Bear In The Basement. Can You Help?’
BEAR League’s Executive Director Ann Bryant promised to be out the following day to help relocate the unwanted visitor. But during the day, things were quiet under the floorboards, so the homeowners assumed the bear had relocated voluntarily. Before another creature could sneak in, they promptly closed and locked the crawlspace door. Problem solved! Or was it?
As it turns out, it wasn’t. During the night, loud sounds began anew. The bear had not gone anywhere but had merely lulled the unsuspecting homeowners into a false sense of security. Instead of locking the creature out of their crawlspace, they’d managed to lock this now-frightened bear into it.
Another call to BEAR League prompted a visit and quick action. Everyone was on the same page. No one wanted the bear hurt or even captured, but relocated to a more appropriate living space — for it and its human neighbors. Bryant found a second entrance into the crawl space and crawled in with the bear, though the bear didn’t seem to know it. Using a unique tool designed for the purpose, Bryant scared the bear with the hopes that it would scamper. The bear hesitated before leaving, sitting tight until Bryant herself had left the crawlspace and was outside again.
But, while Bryant was watching, the bear eventually crawled out and wandered off. It was a little dazed and confused to be sure, but otherwise none the worse for wear. One hopes that it found somewhere a little more appropriate than another open crawl space for its next nap.
The Bear Was “Known To Authorities”
As the Fates would have it, Bryant recognized the bear! It was local and well known to neighbors — especially the nearby Mexican restaurants. BEAR League had “known him for a really long time. He loves the local Mexican restaurants — he gets into their dumpsters.” Who knew living in Lake Tahoe could be so stressful!
We’re lucky that someone was on hand with a camera or smartphone to capture video of the Lake Tahoe Crawl Space Bear. Check it out below, if you haven’t already. Lots of people have. It’s been viewed over 23.6 million times on Facebook. It’s been shared over 43,000 times and has prompted over 11,000 comments and 59,000 reactions.
This family’s unlocked crawl space was a perfectly inviting space for this bear. Bryant and BEAR League point out that bears are always looking for dark, quiet, dry, and safe cave-like areas to nap and even to hibernate. Homeowners should take care to keep such spaces locked up…unless they’re looking for a tenant!
The BEAR League was born from a 1998 tragedy when a mother bear named Natalie was killed by a trapper contracted by the California Department of Fish and Game. A tourist afraid of bears had called the DFG about a male bear that was trying to get at garbage improperly stored in a cabin cellar. A trap was laid for the male bear, but Natalie and one cub were captured and killed instead.
A group of motivated people began meeting and birthed BEAR League. It’s a completely volunteer, community-based, not-for-profit organization in the Lake Tahoe Basin, Truckee, and beyond. They’re committed to keeping bears safe and wild in their natural habitat. And, much to the gratitude of one Lake Tahoe family, they make house calls, if that’s what it takes to keep bears safe.
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