Mountain News: “Selfies” with bears are causing trouble in Tahoe

The expression “grin and bear it” is getting an unwelcome 2014-style translation in South Lake Tahoe’s Taylor Creek area. In recent days, the annual fall spawning run has brought large numbers of Kokanee Salmon to the area, with the inevitable hungry bears following in their wake. But this year, smart phone-toting humans have inserted themselves into this natural migration pattern, eagerly snapping “selfies” with bears and putting themselves at considerable risk for that social media high.

“We’ve had mobs of people that are actually rushing toward the bears trying to get a ‘selfie’ photo,” says Lisa Herron, of the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. “We are afraid someone is going to get attacked.” But the “selfie” hordes keep coming, and U.S. Forest Service officials are now considering closing the area to visitors altogether. They offer a grim reminder to those who disregard the safety instructions: “Approaching bears too closely is also putting bears at risk, since bears may be captured and killed if they attack.”

Read more about the problem here

And find out how you can help the wild bears of the Lake Tahoe Basin here.