DNA proves hungry Hank the Tank isn’t the only bear terrorising neighbourhood

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Hank the Tank was originally thought to be the only bear breaking into several properties in the area around Lake Tahoe in the US. (PHOTO: Facebook)
Hank the Tank was originally thought to be the only bear breaking into several properties in the area around Lake Tahoe in the US. (PHOTO: Facebook)

A massive bear is terrorising residents around Lake Tahoe in California after brazenly breaking into dozens of homes.

The huge animal, who weighs about 220kg, has been dubbed Hank the Tank.

Police officers were recently called to a home where Hank was found hiding inside the house.

The black bear had helped himself to food after shattering the wooden fence and breaking a small window to gain entry.

"This bear didn't break into a garage where trash was kept that he was sniffing out," a police official says. 

"He broke into a secured home, through the small window and somehow squeezed inside."

Hank is a severely food-habituated bear, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). 

"This means that the animal has lost its fear of people and is associating people with access to food."

Officials launched a special trapping effort to remove Hank from the area, but their plans were derailed when they discovered he wasn't the only culprit breaking into people's homes rummaging for food. 

It was originally claimed the animal had broken into 28 homes and damaged 38 properties in his search for food. 

Now it seems Hank might've had some help.

"DNA evidence collected from the most recent incident as well as prior incidents over the past several months prove that at least three bears were responsible for breaking into numerous residences," the CDFW said in a statement.

Now that there are three giant bears, new plans have been laid out. 

“All other bears captured will be ear-tagged, hazed away from human food sources, and released by our wildlife professionals in the nearest appropriate habitat,” the CDFW says.

The department has also started educating residents on how to bear-proof their homes. 

SOURCES: NYTIMES.COM, CNN.COM, WILDLIFE.CA.GOV, DAILYMAIL.COM
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24