A man living in the north Tahoe neighborhood of Tahoe Vista was fed up with having bears break into his car, so he placed a call to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. After the DFW placed a bear trap on his property last week, a 2-year-old bear was trapped and killed by officials.
Now, the homeowner is receiving death threats and his neighbors are furious with his actions.
“I’m not for that at all. If you’re up in Tahoe, you expect to see bears. This is where they live,” Michele Immenschuh said to CBS Sacramento.
The trap was placed on the man’s property due to a state law where a homeowner can apply for a legal permit to kill any problem animal on their property. Some Tahoe locals are concerned that the law will enable the killing of other bears, like local celebrity Mr. T-Shirt.
“Who knows if the bear that was in that trap was the bear that caused the damage to his home or to his vehicles? Who knows if there was damage, it’s just unnecessary,” local bear advocate Megan McClintock said.
Many Tahoe locals are up in arms about the incident, with a Tahoe Bear March/Rally being scheduled for the Tahoe Vista area on November 23rd. A petition has also been circulating online to voice their displeasure with the acts of the DFW.
One Facebook post from the Bear League, Tahoe’s preeminent bear advocates, drew so much anger that it was eventually taken down. One commenter had threatened to burn the man’s home down.
The growing bear population around Lake Tahoe has cause heated controversy over the past few years. They break into houses and cars, with no regard for property and no fear of consequences, and bear advocates have routinely battled with wildlife officials about how to handle the incidents.