Hank the Tank

A 500 pound bear known as “Hank the Tank” invades 30 homes in California for food.

A massive 500 pound bear has been invading homes in California since July of last year. Over 100 calls to police have been made about the bear and he has yet to be captured. Police have also attempted to “haze” the bear with paintballs, tasers, sirens, and bean bags but the bear has been too attracted to human food for any of that to keep him from going back for more food. “So far nothing has been able to deter Hank”, said Peter Tira from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “It’s easier to find leftover pizza than to go into the forest,” said Tira. Hank uses his large 500 pound frame to break through garages, windows, and doors. On average the black bear is normally supposed to be 100-300 pounds which means Hank is 200 pounds overweight. The CDFW explained that Hank is a “severely food-habituated bear,” which means that Hank has “lost his fear in people and is associating people with access to food." The residents whose houses have been broken into

have made a point to explain that Hank is a very kind bear. “When he breaks into a home he is far more interested in the food than any people who may be inside,” Ms. Bryant said. “He just sits there and eats.” “He doesn’t attack them,” “He doesn’t growl.” “He doesn’t make rude faces,” she also said. Although bears normally hibernate in the winter Hank decided that his all year access to food was too good to miss out on. With 20% of bears not hibernating in the winter, they will be looking for food all year and Hank is one of those bears. The winter did not stop Hank and he continued to break into homes for food even though bears normally hibernate in the winter.

Hank The Tank

Although Hank was accused of all the break ins that have been going on recently it has been found that he didn’t work alone. Hank wasn’t even the most destructive out of the three bears. The other two bears actually ended up doing more damage than the real “Hank the Tank.” Thanks to the DNA evidence that it was in fact multiple bears including him breaking into the homes, he won’t be killed or moved to a sanctuary. Two of the other three bears that had been breaking into houses were female. Officials have said that they are not planning to euthanize the bear anymore. Instead they are going to relocate the bears to a different location. They’re also going to tag the bears so they could be tracked and citizens could be warned if Hank or any of the other bears are near any homes. They would likely be moved to a more secluded area in California."All of these efforts are focused on keeping residents safe, and enabling safe and healthy conditions for these bears," the agency said. They also said that people should stop calling the police about the bear. "It's time to talk. Please stop calling South Lake Tahoe Police to give your opinions about Hank," the department wrote. "The SLTPD does not have a say in where Hank lands. Our local wildlife agencies are working together to find the best option for Hank."