A Hungry 500-Pound Black Bear Named 'Hank the Tank' Has Broken Into at Least 28 Homes in 1 California Town
The black bear population has tripled over the last three decades.
At 500 pounds, Hank the Tank is double the size of an average black bear. He’s busted into at least 28 homes in Lake Tahoe. More than 150 calls have come into local enforcement as the enormous beast broke windows, smashed down doors and ransacked garages while searching for his next meal.
“He's going to do terrible damage. He's already been in my house once,” one 911 caller said.
Blogger Sonja Gillam was shocked when she came face-to-face with Hank outside her vacation home while friends and family were enjoying the hot tub.
“I was terrified. I was one of the moms dropping the drink, jumping over the fence, grabbing the kids,” Gillam said.
The black bear population has tripled over the last three decades. And with the surge in fires destroying their natural habitats, all types of bears are making their way into populated neighborhoods to survive.
In another incident, a teen girl in Southern California fought off a mama bear to protect her dogs in her backyard.
A 66-year-old woman was mauled by a black bear inside her Lake Tahoe cabin.
There’s fierce debate in the Lake Tahoe area about what to do if and when Hank the Tank is caught.
“All options are on the table for this bear. Euthanasia, sadly, is also on the table," said Peter Tira, spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. "It's a measure of last resort."
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