August 19, 2010

Department of Bears UPDATE: "Near Lake Tahoe There's a Bear So Tough, Bullets Bounce Off His Head"

The famous bear in my hometown - Incline Village, Nevada - recently made the Wall Street Journal this week with the sensational headline printed above. (Bubba has broken into my parents' garage, & has previously been mentioned in our Department of Bears) From the article:

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev.—In hot pursuit of a notorious burglar along the shores of Lake Tahoe this year, Carl Lackey organized a night patrol to catch the perp. His tools included a fire extinguisher, pepper spray and two dogs that respond only to commands in Russian.

"These dogs were bred to hunt," says Mr. Lackey, 45 years old.

A 700-pound black bear known as Bubba is accused of breaking into at least 50 homes around Lake Tahoe. WSJ's Marie Baca reports on the elusive ursine bandit.

Driven from the mountains by the 2009-2010 winter—the snowiest in five years—and feeding off the garbage left by tourists, Bubba is living large on Lake Tahoe's shores. The bear has broken into at least 50 homes in search of food the past year, causing more than $70,000 of damage, and leaving stinky, basketball-size deposits as his calling card.

So Mr. Lackey has ramped up his bear-catching techniques, deviating from his usual strategy of just laying traps by going on 3 a.m. patrols. This past winter, he placed a shoot-to-kill order, declaring Bubba dangerous and saying the bear "needs to go out of the population."

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