In the version of the story that we think we got it, Hank the Tank is a hungry intruder, unaffected by human concerns like doors and manners, who breaks in. into dozens of homes to maintain his 500-pound frame.
That is mostly still correct. But in an unexpected turn since the black bear’s story gained international media attention this week, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife on Thursday said the bear had not acted on its own. me.
According to the agencyDNA evidence collected over the past several months suggests that at least three bears are involved in reported break-ins in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada. Up until the update, all incidents were pinned to Hank, whose burly face and prodigious appetite was seen around the world as a mix of admirable and believable – and for people whose homes are invaded, perhaps a bit scary.
As it turns out, humans are not very good at distinguishing bears.
The Department of Wildlife said in a statement: “Identifying bears simply by their physical, visible features can lead to misidentification of the bear species and thereby confuse efforts to identify bears. management force”.
Good news for Hank, authorities say he will most likely avoid death, which has been considered a possibility since he appears to have ceased to fear humans. With many of the bears involved, the department said it will work in the coming weeks and months to trap, tag and study them, then release them into more suitable habitats.
The department “will not license any bears trapped in this effort,” it said.
So far, those who have encountered bears have said they are perfectly good family protectors, except for food thefts and the occasional trail of destruction.
“He just sat there and ate,” said Ann Bryant, chief executive officer of Bear Leaguea wildlife rescue service in Homewood, Calif., said this week. “He didn’t attack them. He didn’t growl. He doesn’t make rude faces.”
People in the area, a natural habitat for bears, have long coexisted with large, furry animals. Residents learned don’t let food out and seal their trash in bear-proof bins.
But residents of Tahoe Keys, a supervised community about 190 miles northeast of San Francisco, have called police about the bears about 100 times since July.
It is not clear how the bears get a taste of human food. Department officials and local police attempted to “fly” the bears with paintball guns, beanbags, sirens and Tasers, but to no avail.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/25/us/hank-tank-bear.html DNA evidence reveals Hank the tank wasn’t a bear, but several