“Hank the Tank,” the 500lb black bear and scourge of Tahoe California, has been cleared (through DNA evidence no less) of many of the burglaries he’s been accused of committing over the past several weeks. It appears that there are at least two more bears who are culpable, and who haven’t yet been named. (One wonders why….)
As a result, officials are no longer planning to kill Hank if they capture him. The other bears won’t be euthanized either. There are some situations when [California Department of Fish and Wildlife] might euthanize bears.
Instead, they plan to “trap, tag and work to relocate habituated bears.”
Wildlife officials said that in the coming weeks and months they will work to “trap bears in the South Lake Tahoe area, tag them, collect evidence for genetic analysis, and then release them into suitable habitat.”
Jolly good thing too. I mean, AFAIK, Hank has been stealing only to feed himself, and seems to have no interest in a life of crime other than to keep the walls of his very considerable tummy from flapping together. I don’t think he’s made off with any high-price jewelry, luxury cars, or other top-flight items, and there seems to be no drug angle to his depredations on the community’s garbage cans and (in a few instances) kitchens. To my certain knowledge, he’s not (yet) burned anything down or killed anyone in pursuit of his rather modest and self-sustaining goals.
I can even go for the argument that the indignities inflicted on Black** bears over the past several centuries entirely justify these rather minor indiscretions which are, as far I can see, committed peacefully and entirely without rancor on his part. If he’s willing to take such reasonable actions to attempt reparation, who are we to judge?
I mean really.
Just go to your local Cabela’s if you’d like to see one of Hank’s cousin’s heads mounted on the wall. Or, look at this: