Family of black bears sun themselves by stunned Lake Tahoe beachgoers

Family of black bears, with disease that makes them FEARLESS, swim and sun themselves alongside stunned beachgoers in Lake Tahoe

  • Large adult black bear and her three cubs visited a South Lake Tahoe beach last weekend to beat the heat
  • As temperatures soared to 90 degrees on June 27, the family of bears made the most of their surroundings with the three cubs wrestling in the water 
  • One quick-thinking beachgoer managed to film them playing amongst themselves in the water before sunning on the beach to dry off 
  • ‘We were all a little shocked,’ Watkins told KCRA, adding that the adult bear took off back to the forest with somebody’s cooler
  • While the scene was heartwarming, Placer County Sheriff’s Office warned that getting close to bears is ‘very dangerous’ 
  • ‘We are in their territory when we’re up in the foothills and in the Sierra [Nevada],’ Lt. Nelson Resendes said. ‘Don’t feed them… don’t provoke them’
  • An increasing number of bears in the region are suffering from encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, causing them to act ‘dog-like’ and friendlier to humans

A large adult black bear and her three cubs visited a South Lake Tahoe beach last weekend where they beat the heat by playing in the water, stunning beachgoers who watched in shock.

As temperatures soared to 90 on Sunday, the bears made the most of their natural surroundings, with the three cubs wrestling in the water before the mother bear joined them.

Beachgoer Jen Watkins managed to film the bears as they frolicked in the water before sunning on the beach.

‘We were all a little shocked,’ Watkins told KCRA, while adding that the adult bear took off with somebody’s cooler before leaving the beach and scurrying back to the forest.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=bNmbY88CrjQ%3Frel%3D0%26showinfo%3D1

While the scene was as heartwarming as it was surprising, Placer County Sheriff’s Office warned that getting close to bears is ‘very dangerous.’ 

‘We are in their territory when we’re up in the foothills and in the Sierra [Nevada],’ Lt. Nelson Resendes told KCRA.  

‘Don’t feed them, don’t entice them, don’t provoke them and, obviously in a setting like this… don’t approach them… respect their space.’

The reason behind the beach encounter may have been illness, however. An increasing number of bears in the region are suffering from encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain.

The condition makes bears act more ‘dog-like’, becoming more friendly and fearless when encountering humans.

Since March 2020, at least four bears have been found with the disease in California, according to NBC News.

In February, residents in nearby Pollock Pines in El Dorado County kept encountering a black bear that refused to leave, despite residents yelling and making loud noises to scare the animal away.

Instead, the bear ‘jumped into a housekeeper’s open car trunk, prompting attempts to approach it and pet it,’ the news outlet reported at the time.

Black bears without the condition typically avoid coming into contact with people unless ‘they are forced to be around humans to be near a food source,’ the National Audubon Society says. 

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