A mother bear was caught opening the doors of an unlocked car while looking for snacks with her two bear cubs in a residential area of Lake Tahoe, infringing on 500-pound black bear ‘Hank the Tank’s’ territory.
In surveillance footage exclusively obtained by DailyMail.com, a grizzly bear was recorded by a Ring doorbell of a Lake Tahoe resident in May opening up a black Chevrolet Suburban while her babies stay in the thick snow.
The bear then hops onto the SUV’s driver seat and digs its nose, sniffing across the vehicle’s dashboard in an attempt to find something yummy.
It remains unknown as to whether the bear was successful in finding food, as the video is cut short beforehand.
The footage was recorded on May 10, just nine days after the brown-coat mammal made its first appearance on camera with her cubs.
UN-BEAR-LIEVABLE: A mother cub searched a black Suburban Chevrolet that was unlocked on May 10 in attempt to find food for her cubs
BEAR-LY VISIBLE: The female grizzly considered the car to be her own as she hoped into the driver’s seat
In the family-of-three’s first appearance on tape, the mother bear encounters the same car after walking in the area with her younglings.
The grizzly proceeds to stand up and open the door, this time on the passenger side, with her right front paw, just like an average person would.
The adult mammal then sniffs around the front section of the SUV before dropping its again and making sure that her cubs are nearby.
The bear pops her head back into the car and finds what seems to be a black takeout box full of food, before dropping it to the parking space’s concrete.
At the end of the footage, the two cubs turn their heads around after the black item caught their attention.
FIRST TIME’S THE CHARM: On May 1, nine days before she made her second and most recent appearance at the home, the mama bear came across the car with two younglings
WHAT’S INSIDE THE CAR: The adult grizzly opened the passenger side’s door and looked for food inside the car while her two cubs waited nearby
ABOUT TIME: The grizzly seemed to have found some grub after taking out what seems to be a black bento or takeout box from the SUV
In February, DNA evidence collected by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife found that the 500lb black bear nicknamed Hank the Tank is in fact at least three hefty bears who have damaged more than 30 properties around Lake Tahoe in recent months.
Hank, who weighs 500 pounds, was caught on security footage wandering around Lake Tahoe homes in search of a meal bigger than his appetite. The bear has been spotting in the neighborhood more than 100 times since July 2021 and nothing – not even loud noises, paintballs, or Tasers – can scare him off.
Local residents have described the animal as ‘gentle’ and said he just eats and leaves without causing any trouble. But wildlife officials say locals have made Hank too bold by leaving out unsecured food scraps for him to eat.
And they have since feared that the bear – who is up to five times bigger than a regular member of his species – could hurt someone if they get too close.
‘He doesn’t attack [people]. He doesn’t growl. He doesn’t make rude faces,’ a local resident insisted in February, according to TMZ.
However, not everyone is too fond of having a 500lb teddy bear roaming the streets. A spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Peter Tira told The New York Times: ‘This is a bear that has lost all fear of people. It’s a potentially dangerous situation.’
Hank the Tank, a 500lb bear, has become a local celebrity after terrorizing a community in Lake Tahoe, California since last year
Hank was caught on home security footage in Lake Tahoe wandering around looking for his next meal
Although Hank didn’t enter the home, he has done so in the past. The bear has been spotted more than 100 times in the neighborhood since July and has prompted more than 150 calls to law enforcement
Local authorities were reportedly last trying to trap the animal and get him into a sanctuary, but some conservationists are worried Hank will be slaughtered before he can be taken to a safe place, if he does end up having an aggressive encounter with a human.
Wildlife officials have tried to tamper Hank’s wave of destruction by setting up traps but have been unable to contain him.
‘The trapping activity is a measure of last resort to capture and euthanize a specific and what we call a severely habituated or human-food conditioned black bear,’ Tira noted.
There was outrage from residents over the bear hunt and even attempts to scare the bear away from the area by playing noisy music or even spray painting the phrase ‘Bear Killer’ on the trap, even though Hank can’t read.
A pro-bear activist group, The BEAR League, has been working with wildlife officials to try and get Hank to a safe new home.
‘The BEAR League reached out to the director of an excellent out-of-state wildlife sanctuary who agreed he has room and would be very willing to give this bear a permanent home,’ said executive director Ann Bryant.
‘We notified [the California Department of Fish and Wildlife] on Tuesday morning asking that this option be seriously considered rather than killing the bear.’
California wildlife authorities are facing numerous complaints from residents in the resort town of Lake Tahoe as the bear has prompted more than 150 calls to law enforcement and wildlife personnel in the area of late.
‘This one individual bear has been linked to property damage at 38 different properties at least,’ Tira told KCRA 3 in Sacramento on February 17.
Authorities add that the curvy cub has caused ‘extensive property damage and forcefully entered several homes – including occupied homes.’
A home in California that has faced Hank’s wrath
A pro-bear activist group, The BEAR League, has been working with wildlife officials to try and get Hank to a safe new home. This trap has been vandalized in an apparent attempt to deter Hank – even though he can’t read
Not only is Hank’s giant appetite making him come back, but ease of access to improperly secured trash.
Bryant notes that sanctuaries are not a full-time solution and wants Tahoe residents to practice prevention.
‘Homeowners and visitors need to do their part to keep the bears out of trouble so they can live wild and free,’ she said.
‘The various reasons that the bears get into trouble is because people do this and they teach the bears that’s a good way to make a living.’
There was outrage from residents over the bear hunt and even attempts to scare the bear away from the area by playing noisy music or even spray painting the phrase ‘Bear Killer’ on the trap
The bear has caused caused ‘extensive property damage and forcefully entered several homes – including ‘occupied homes’
For grizzlies, hibernation tends to be more of a response to a shortage of food, decreasing temperatures and snow on the ground.
It can last a few weeks in warmer parts of North America in the Northeast and West Coast, to six months for bears in Alaska.
Experts also said it’s best not to wake up a hibernating bear. A bear that can sense danger quickly wakes up.
California is home to around 25,000 to 35,000 black bears, according to the USDA Forest Service. Oregon is home to 25,000 to 30,000 and is known as ‘Black Bear Country,’
The Parks Department added that bear attacks are ‘uncommon’ and the animals typically ‘avoid human contact,’ but reminds the public that it is ‘never safe to approach a bear.’