Authorities issue more details about bear shooting in South Lake Tahoe
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Authorities have issued more information in an attempt to end speculation about a bear shooting in June in South Lake Tahoe.
The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office said due to ongoing dialogue about the incident, that it wanted to be transparent and clarify a few details, including that the man who shot the bear was not an off duty officer as has been widely speculated.
“Contrary to speculation on social media, it should be known the man who shot the bear is not employed as a law enforcement officer and is in no way affiliated with a law enforcement agency,” said the Sheriff’s Office in a statement. “He is a private business owner from out of the Tahoe area.
Deputies responded to a call of a bear threat on the evening of June 24 at a residence in Meyers.
The department said that the visitor returned home at approximately 10:30 p.m. and heard something upstairs. The man retrieved his firearm, that the Sheriff’s Office said was lawfully possessed and appropriately registered, from the downstairs area.
When walking upstairs, the man was confronted by the bear on the lower staircase. The bear raised up on its hind legs and pushed the man to the floor, according to the statement. The man reported, with the bear standing over him at the base of the stairs, he shot the bear. He said he fired additional shots as the bear thrashed around downstairs. The bear finally fled through a sliding glass door.
The man called to report the incident.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife located the gravely-injured bear the following morning and euthanized it.
The Sheriff’s Office said it works cooperatively with CDFW and that it provided direction and took over the investigation after the incident.
“The public should know, this season is a particularly busy season with bear incidents in the Tahoe area, likely due to the drought and a shortage of available resources for bears,” the statement said. “As a reminder to Tahoe area citizens and visitors, the best way to protect our bears is for us to properly secure our food, our trash, our vehicles, and our residences.”
The Sheriff’s Office said reports are public record and may be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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