A California neighborhood is currently being terrorized by an unlikely but incredibly prolific burglar.
So far, locals and police have been powerless to stop the quarter-ton monster. Despite this, the burglar was botched and police have a name and photo to use to identify him.
A 500-pound black bear that locals have nicknamed “Hank the Tank” is on the loose from authorities.
The South Lake Tahoe Police Department said Hank was “easily identifiable due to his unusually large size and dark coat with a lighter muzzle.”
Hank the Tank is a black bear that broke into 28 homes in the Lake Tahoe area, causing extensive damage. At 500 pounds, Hank is pretty big for a black bear and has become dangerous lately.
Hank has become comfortable enough around humans that he isn’t afraid to enter houses, even when there are people around. He has shown that he is not afraid to break in and has broken in through windows, doors, and even garage doors.
California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Peter Tira said of Hank’s behavior, “He’s learned to use his size and strength to push his way through houses, he’ll go through garage doors, he’ll will walk through the front doors. He will go through the windows.
Authorities believe they may have to euthanize Hank, but wildlife groups disagree.
Hank has truly become a threat to the people of the Lake Tahoe area, and his behavior could prove extremely dangerous as Hank spends more and more time near humans and associates homes with food.
Hank has become an issue for residents of the Lake Tahoe area over the past seven months. Meanwhile, Hank has caused extensive damage and has, disturbingly, completely ignored hibernation. With food so readily available at homes in the area, the bear simply continued to forage and eat rather than resting for the winter.
Several methods have been tried to keep Hank away from humans, including beanbag ammo, but nothing has worked so far, as Hank just keeps damaging property and breaking into homes. .
Peter Tira also commented on Hank’s abnormal size (black bears average 100–300 pounds) saying, “He doesn’t subsist on a diet of ants and berries like many wild bears do.”
Experts attribute Hank’s height to his human diet.
The locals are more careful about securing their homes and trash while Hank is still at large. One resident said: “I’ve been in town for 40 years and closed recently and never did this.
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Honestly, in a fight between Hank the Tank and a locked door, I don’t think I would trust that locked door to keep Hank out.
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Dan O’Reilly is a writer who covers current affairs, politics and social justice. Follow him on Twitter.