Hopeful news to report from the Tahoe Basin on National Black Bear Day, which is recognized annually the first Saturday in June.
ABC 7 Los Angeles shared video recently of what Tahoe Basin residents believe to be the Tamarack Fire bear splashing and playing happily in a South Lake Tahoe pond. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officials say they can't know the bear's identity for certain since the Tamarack Fire bear wasn’t tagged or radio-collared prior to its escape but their hope is that residents are correct and the Tamarack Fire bear is the one enjoying itself in the ABC 7 video.
The Tamarack Fire bear, you’ll remember, made headlines last summer and prompted local concern after the young bear escaped from its enclosure at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, where it was recovering from burns suffered in the Tamarack Fire.
CDFW ultimately decided against recapturing the bear after various sightings and observations in the wild revealed the bear to be moving and functioning properly with no obvious signs of injury and behaving as a wild and healthy bear should. Surrounding fresh scat indicated the bear was actively foraging on wild foods. More information on the decision is available in an earlier post.
While conflict bears in the Tahoe Basin often capture the attention and interest of the news media and the public, it’s good to be reminded that many of the Tahoe Basin’s black bears still live healthy, wild lives free from human conflict and – mostly – out of the spotlight.
On National Black Bear Day, we can thank ABC 7 Los Angeles – and perhaps the Tamarack Fire bear itself – for the reminder.