SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (AP) – California authorities have arrested four suspects: a mother bear and three of her cubs, in multiple break-ins into homes around South Lake Tahoe.
DNA has confirmed the big black bear and her three little accomplices have been responsible for at least 21 property damages since 2022, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a statement.
The mother bear and her babies were “safely sedated” on Friday, the statement said. The adult female, known to researchers as 64F, is likely to be taken to a sprawling wildlife sanctuary near Springfield, Colorado.
Her young could end up in a rehabilitation facility in Sonoma County, California, “in the hopes that they can give up the negative behaviors they learned from the sow and return them to the wild,” the statement said.
64F, which was fitted with a tracking device earlier this year, is one of three adult bears identified as responsible for 150 reported incidents, including property damage, in the Lakes region between northern California and Nevada last year.
Originally it was believed that a single, large black bear earned the public nickname “Hank the Tank” had broken into houses. Finally, Fish and Wildlife announced that three different bears were actually responsible for the chaos.