Bear who doesn’t like people escapes Tahoe wildlife center

Bear who doesn’t like people escapes Tahoe wildlife center

A young bear who reportedly dislikes people escaped a pen and is thought to be on the loose in the South Lake Tahoe area, wildlife officials say.

Seiad, the missing bear. (California Department of Fish and Wildlife)

Seiad, a 13-month-old male black bear, got out of the outdoor enclosure at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care around 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife reported.

Apparently orphaned, he was found severely underweight in Siskiyou County last year and was brought to the Tahoe center in December. Since then, he has doubled his weight and is now at 50 pounds and healthy. He was being prepared for eventual release back into the wild.

The wildlife center said Seiad is skittish and dislikes people, and he is not described as dangerous — but he is said to be too young to weather a Tahoe winter, so officials are asking for the public’s help in locating him.

He is microchipped and has a metal tag numbered 1028 in his right ear. His fur is dusky brown.

Because he is likely to flee, people are discouraged from actively searching for him. Anyone who sees him is asked to try to keep him in sight while they call the wildlife agency at (916) 358-2917 or Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care at (530) 577-2273.

In August 2021, a 6-month-old bear cub who had been rescued from the Tamarack Fire the previous month escaped from the same facility. He was not recaptured — and had not been tagged or radio-collared — but has been seen numerous times since then and appears to be thriving. One video last summer caught a bear believed to be the same one playing with a toy bear in a Tahoe-area pond.

After the escape of the Tamarack bear, the center was not allowed to keep bear cubs until it was reinspected by the state wildlife agency. It was recertified and now houses 13 cubs in the facility near Pioneer Trail and Al Tahoe Boulevard, about 1½ miles southwest of the Heavenly lodge.


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