An interesting story from an area that I love, Lake Tahoe in California. Bears have been roaming around the ski hills.
It would be surprising, wouldn’t it? To be skiing and slide up to a bear. Especially as this is the time of year they are usually hibernating.
In the story, a spokesman from the Nevada Department of Wildlife says that the bears are not hibernating because they have become acclimated to human’s garbage as a source of food.
This makes a lot of sense. Hibernation is a conversation strategy that animals use to survive a winter season when less food is available. They lower their metabolic rate so that they can live from fat stores. If food is available, especially high calorie food like garbage from humans, then the bears don’t need to hibernate. I wonder what effect this has on them.
So are these bears getting into the garbage around the resort? I don’t know the whole story, but it sounds like they are. While the issues around global warming are huge and complex, I hope they take quick steps to shore up their garbage to reduce the potential for bear/human conflict (which usually ends badly for the bears).
As a skier, I find this photo so odd–a bear walking through a slalom course.
With lifts and lodges, skiing can make so domesticated that we might forget that we are in the wilderness. This is a mistake. It is bear country.