An unnamed California resident got quite the surprise when they discovered that a family of five black bears had been hibernating beneath their home for the past several months. The weird realization came to light when the organization, the BEAR League, shared the bizarre story on social media.
According to the group, which works to support “people living in harmony with bears,” the un-bear-able tale began when an unnamed individual, who rents a house in the city of South Lake Tahoe, noticed a series of strange “rumbling, snoring-like noises” emanating from beneath their floorboards.
Although understandably puzzled by what they were hearing, the renter initially opted to ignore the sounds since they “simply didn’t make sense.” That confusion was compounded when the person asked their neighbors about the noises, and their concerns were dismissed as being imagined because no one else could hear the curious commotion.
However, as winter turned to spring in South Lake Tahoe, the resident soon concluded that the cacophony coming from under the home was not merely something in their mind, and they began to think that perhaps it could be coming from a bear.
Enlisting the animal advocacy group to investigate, the renter’s concerns were quickly confirmed when it was discovered that not one, but FIVE, black bears, consisting of an adult female and four cubs, had taken up residence beneath the house by way of an “unsecured crawl space opening.”
The organization speculated that the animals had entered the area sometime around December and had largely gone unnoticed and undisturbed for the last few months until finally waking up from their slumber last week. Fortunately, the creatures exited the spot with only a little coaxing needed, and the home appears to have not been damaged by the surprising squatters.
Encounters between humans and bears have been on the increase in recent years.
Earlier this year, an art teacher from Houston County got the shock of her life after coming face to face with a black bear that had managed to get itself trapped in her car.
Mary Jane Yarbrough, a teacher at Warner Robins High School in Houston County, said she was in disbelief when she saw the animal locked inside her parked car. Unfortunately for her, the bear had rummaged so aggressively that the interiors of her car were in shambles.
Last year, a group of friends filmed the moment when a fully-grown bear made his way through the woods and approached their unattended vehicle, which was parked in the middle of a winding road. A few seconds later, the bear got frisky and managed to pull open the front door of the vehicle.
Also, in 2021 a California teen, Hailey Morinico, made headlines when she warded off a black bear that was attempting to jump her fence and attack her dogs.
While none of these encounters between humans and bears ended in any harm to the bear or the people involved, other cases were not so lucky. Wildlife experts nationwide say that encounters between bears and humans are on the rise as homes continue to encroach on the bear’s habitats. Some of these encounters end tragically – for the animals.
In May of last year, a bear was shot and killed by authorities in the backyard of an Oregon homeowner. “We’re not surprised that bears are on the move. We’ve known that for a long time,” said Micah Holmes of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “The only surprising thing was it was in someone’s backyard.”