Rally planned in memory of bear killed at Tahoe Vista
Special to The Union
TAHOE VISTA — Community members have organized a Saturday rally in support of a bear that was trapped and killed last week in Tahoe Vista with the authorization of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“It’s a memorial service,” said Anne Bryant, executive director of the Bear League. “We lost a neighbor, a member of our community.”
The rally will start at 11:30 a.m. at 7010 North Lake Blvd. in Tahoe Vista. It will include a circle of memorial for bears and live music by Renegade Hombres. Bryant said she will be there discussing tips to live safely with bears.
The bear’s death sparked outrage in the community after the Bear League posted about the events on its Facebook page. A post from the Bear League had nearly 700 comments and over 650 shares. Bryant said they deleted the post from the league’s Facebook page after a comment was left threatening to burn the homeowner’s house down.
Despite the negative impact the incident had on some community members, Megan McClintock, an organizer of the rally, said she hopes it will “be more of an awareness and education event.”
“We want it to be an event that is less focused on negative things that have happened in the past and more about spreading awareness for the future,” she said. “Anyone that is going to have hateful words, we encourage them to stay home.”
According to Bryant, a trap was set on Wildwood Drive in Tahoe Vista after a bear repeatedly had gotten into the car of a homeowner. The trap was triggered by a bear around 2 a.m. Nov. 15 and was taken away early that morning.
The homeowner was granted a depredation permit by the Department of Fish and Wildlife to have the bear killed. The department is required by law to issue a depredation permit if a homeowner can show property damage has occurred. The permit allows a licensed trapper to set the trap and euthanize the bear, according to Peter Tira, information officer for the department.
“There has to be corrective measures taken to some degree before a depredation permit is issued,” Tira said. “It’s typically not for a one time offending bear.”
The policy states “the permit allows the permittee or designee to kill the offending bear regardless of the time of year. But a depredation permit is the last step in a series of steps taken to eliminate the problem.”
A biologist confirmed that the bear that was trapped was the bear causing the damage, Tira said.
Bryant said she received multiple calls from concerned neighbors when they saw that the trap was set and immediately got in contact with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“Killing a bear has never been the solution,” said Bryant. “The bears are fine as long as you don’t invite them by leaving food in your car or your bird feeder out. It’s the simple dos and don’ts of living in bear country.”
Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun, a sister publication of The Union. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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