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Video shows black bear interrupting Truckee High School football practice

Bear crashes high school football practice in Truckee
Bear crashes high school football practice in Truckee 00:39

TRUCKEE — A black bear was met by a group of Wolverines when it crossed onto a Northern California high school football field this week.

On Thursday, the Truckee Wolverines posted a video on the team's Instagram page that showed a black bear crossing through the middle of a practice session.

"The possibilities at a football practice in Truckee are vast…snow, lightning storms, hail, coyotes taking out voles or maybe the birds of prey swooping down on the varmints…or a Black Bear making his way through old wetlands of Meadow Lake," the post's caption said.

The Truckee High School players and coaches are seen watching the bear cross the field and run away. No direct encounter between the bear and a human occurred.

Black bear encounters with humans have made major headlines as of late. Just this week, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) confirmed the first-ever documented fatal attack by a bear on a human in California history. This occurred in November 2023 in Sierra County.

Also on Thursday, the cubs of former Lake Tahoe bear "Hank the Tank," now known as Henrietta, were released back into the wild after a rehab stint. Henrietta was tied to several break-ins in residential areas of Tahoe over the years before being taken to a Colorado animal sanctuary last summer.

Just a week ago, in South Lake Tahoe, a property owner in South Lake Tahoe shot and killed a bear cub that entered his home through an open door.

In mid-May, wildlife officials euthanized a bear that had broken into a Sierra County school gym multiple times. And in January, a Sacramento woman recorded a video of a bear crossing paths with skiers and snowboarders at Heavenly Ski Resort.

In March, the Bear League, a nonprofit that works to keep bears safe in their natural habitat, told CBS Sacramento that a record number of bears—more than 100—had been evicted from Tahoe-area homes and buildings over the winter.

While wildlife officials at the state level and smaller organizations like the Bear League have reported a rise in human-bear encounters, they attribute the occurrences to more people visiting and living in California's bear country.

"The problem is more and more tourism and people coming up to vacation and forgetting to bring their brains with them," Ann Bryant, director of the Bear League, said in March.

Bear encounter safety tips

The CDFW has a few tips on how humans should approach an encounter with a black bear. These include: 

  • Never purposely approaching a bear or picking up a bear cub.
  • Don't play dead. If attacked, fight back.
  • Instead of running away, face the bear while trying to make yourself appear as large as possible and make noises.
  • Call 911 immediately if an attack occurs.
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