Sue could have renamed her house the bear hotel after living with bears under her house in Lake Tahoe for the past 5 years. She is a long time resident of the Tahoe Keys neighborhood here in South Lake Tahoe and she has had big furry residents with lots of muscle (not your typical house guests) for the past 5 years. No they don’t live with Sue but they sleep under her house and like a lot of our Tahoe ski bums only stay for the winter.
They are rather peaceful house guests and keep to themselves and though they stay awhile (2-3 months) they clean up after themselves rather well.
5 years ago Sue learned that a mama Bear and her cub were living under her house-she saw a missing board at the back of the house where the foundation meets the ground and realized it was a Bear that let herself in. She quickly realized what she was hearing from under the house was a brand new cub purring loudly as it nursed most of the day and night. She said it sounded “like a small engine constantly roaring, it was a soothing, comforting sound” and Sue never got tired of listening to it. That mama Bear later became known as Lilly and her baby was named Cole-they were named by Sue’s granddaughter. There is a great video of them on You Tube under the title “Lily Bear and her cub Cole”. It is a must watch for bear lovers.
Mama bear was seen on occasion outside walking around on Sue’s property at times but the small baby cub never left the house until late March or early April. Once it was out mama Bear spent countless hours over a 5-6 week period teaching him to play, chew on branches and most importantly climb trees and after wearing him out they would nap back under the house in their den. Sue said at times the bears would occasionally look in her windows and watch her cat and sometimes lick the windows as if they were wanting to play with it. There were many sightings of this family and eventually they left one summer night which was sad but that is what bears do-time to go live in the woods.
Then the year after there were no bears residing at Sue’s bear hotel but the next year Mama Cocoa bear and her 2 babies moved in and then this most recent winter it was a mama Bear and her three yearling cubs. Sue could tell they were yearlings because they were much bigger. “They moved in or should I say hibernated under the house beginning mid-December and just recently left at the end of February probably do to the spring-like winter we have been having here in Tahoe”. The biggest cub who she named Rover was fairly active most of the winter and would be seen roaming the property and drinking frequently in the lagoon. She also saw him recently take a bath -spring time! Sue could hear them nursing under the house and although they were much larger than her past guests the were still somewhat quiet. She said their den under the house was simply a dirt floor surrounded by the cement foundation walls -there is a dent in the dirt like you would see a dog dig in your yard and then lay down in it to get to a cool and comfortable. “Once mama Bear came out this spring she had such a beautiful mahogany coat-there was a lot of fur and muscle under there,” she said.
Sue never felt threatened by the bears, she knew they were wild animals but she always kept her distance from them, she said her neighbors were more concerned that the bears would do damage to their property which luckily wasn’t the case. So After 5 years of Sue’s bear hotel she has decided to work with the Bear League and permanently close off the area under the house. The bears didn’t cause any damage to her house but Sue is closing the bear hotel in hopes they choose a more natural den to spend the cold winter months in the future. The same bears never return to the same den twice and for more information please contact our local center the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Center.
Thanks for reading Living with bears in Lake Tahoe and don’t forget I can sell you a house fit for humans as well. My cell is 530-318-9286 and firstname.lastname@example.org or take a search now.