Aggressive Bear in Tahoe

On December 2, 2015, at about 9:10 AM, El Dorado County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the area of Minniconjou Dr. and Susquehana Dr. in South Lake Tahoe for an aggressive 700-800 pound bear. Deputies located and identified the bear as one that had been disrupting the neighborhood for several weeks by breaking into multiple residences. Deputies attempted to get the bear to move away from the residential area, using loud noises and less lethal bean bag rounds. In most cases these types of tactics are very successful and result in the bear leaving the area.

However on this occasion the bear was very persistent and would not leave the area and moved aggressively towards the deputies’ location. The aggressive actions of the bear towards deputies endangered their personal safety as well as the resident’s safety. Based on the present circumstances deputies unfortunately had no choice, but to use lethal force on the bear when other non-lethal measures failed to have an effect.

Deputies were in contact with the Fish and Wildlife agency and updated them on the incident.

The Sheriff’s Office attempts to take every measure possible to resolve bear incident cases at the lowest level, however when personal safety is in jeopardy, deputies must protect life and maintain safety.

The Sheriff’s Office has trained deputies for the past 15 years on how to effectively handle bear related calls. Deputies are and given tools of a less lethal nature to divert bears from the inside of homes and from neighborhoods back to the forest lands.

In the past year, the Sheriff’s Office responded to 177 bear related calls, of which 23 were located in the same neighborhood as yesterday’s incident. Of the 177 bear related calls, all were resolved with the use of non-lethal measures.

Lt. Bryan Golmitz