Slow down for bears; stash trash

City of South Lake Tahoe

Bears are going into hyperdrive as the days get cooler, preparing for winter hibernation trying to put on as much weight as possible. This means they are more actively crossing local roads and highways. Unfortunately, a number of bears, including cubs, have suffered injuries, broken limbs and serious injuries that have lead to them by euthanized in recent weeks, as reported by the BEAR League on social media.

Locals and visitors are urged to slow down and keep watch for bears crossing highways. Remember, too, that if you see a bear, look for cubs to follow behind either immediately or a short time later. There could be one or multiple cubs looking to cross behind the mother bear.

Stash trash, food
Remember to also remove all food from vehicles and secure food and garbage at homes and campsites. Never leave food unattended, as well. If a bear approaches, yell at the bear to try to get it to leave before it is rewarded. Call the BEAR League hotline or visit the website for tips on deterring bears. Only call 911 if it’s an emergency (a bear walking through the property is not an emergency). Follow these tips, as well.

  • Clean grills after each use
  • Don’t feed bears; it’s illegal
  • Secure trash in a bear-proof trash container.
  • Beachgoers need to take all trash to a bear-resistant garbage container. If they are full, take the garbage with you.
  • Secure homes by closing all windows when away from a house or asleep. Also lock doors.
  • Keep cars clean. Never leave groceries, animal feed, garbage or anything scented in vehicles. Be sure to always lock vehicles and close the windows.

Help with bear encounters

Immediate threat | 911

Injured animals, Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care | (530) 577-2273,

BEAR League 24-hour help | (530) 525-7297,

California Department of Fish and Wildlife | (916) 358-2917,

California State Parks | (916) 358-1300

Nevada Department of Wildlife | (775) 688-2327