Lake Tahoe Renters Discover 5 Bears Hibernating Under Their Home

Lake Tahoe Renters Discover 5 Bears Hibernating Under Their Home Lake Tahoe Renters Discover 5 Bears Hibernating Under Their Home A newly born Baribal American black bear lays next to its mother. (Loic Venance/AFP via Getty)

By Brian Freeman | Sunday, 24 April 2022 07:48 PM

Renters in South Lake Tahoe, California, discovered five bears hibernating under the house, CNN reported on Sunday.

The BEAR League (Bear Education Aversion Response), a non-profit organization that attempts to keep bears in the area safe, said that when they arrived at the home the mother bear was behind an opening beneath the house and was already on her way out but halted to sit on the opposite side of the yard, leading them to believe that she was waiting for her cubs still under the house to come out, according to CNN.

BEAR League executive director Ann Bryant said the bears had likely been under the house since the beginning of December, explaining that noises the renters heard were probably the animals snoring, nursing, or rolling around, because bears "don't hibernate deeply, they go into a lighter state of torpor."

After shining a flashlight further into the area, the BEAR League officials saw the cubs. Eventually four of them emerged on their own.

Bryant said it is not uncommon for bears to make areas beneath houses their home during the winter months.

Fortunately for the renters, the bears did not damage the home.

Others have not be so lucky, with, for example, a woman being mauled by a bear that broke into her Lake Tahoe cabin, CNN reported.

California wildlife officials have told Lake Tahoe residents to expect "increased bear activity" as the animals wake up from hibernating, because some of the bears had a people-free area last fall after residents were evacuated from the 2021 Caldor Fire, according to News 10.

Wildlife officials added that the evacuation period last year will have "rippling and lasting effects" on the behavior of bear for seasons to come.