SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (KTXL) – Never mind that the calendar still says winter, and there’s a fresh layer of snow on the ground, wildlife experts say many of Tahoe’s bears, mostly the males, are already active.
“Especially in the last few weeks, all around. We’re getting more reports around Lake Tahoe. I’m seeing more reports of black bear movement,” said South Lake Tahoe wildlife expert Toogee Sielsch.
Sielsch keeps track of the local bear population. He works independently as an advocate for South Lake Tahoe’s bears.
His wildlife cameras capture some amazing images.
“We actually have urbanized black bears right here in South Lake Tahoe that are active all winter,” Sielsch told FOX40. “They might den under one property or in one spot, but they’ll regularly move out and about and access unsecured trash, dumpsters, food, or if somebody leaves their garage door open with food sources.”
Sielsch showed FOX40 a property where two adult male bears were denning under one vacant house.
In the wild, where there’s more competition for food, bears would spread out.
“But this is kind of a new thing and we can dial it into the urbanized black bear issue and how it is changing their behavior. Because they’re opportunistic right? They’re opportunistic feeders,” Sielsch explained. “They’re opportunistic denners. And especially when it comes to food, they can eat a broad variety of different foods to survive on, whereas…