Lake Tahoe Beachgoers Shocked To See Family Of Black Bears Playing In The Lake

A group of people and a bear on a beach

There was a stretch this spring and early summer when it seemed like every week, there was a new headline about black bears and their shenanigans.

Who could forget the stories about bears almost getting fried on a utility pole, stealing backpacks,  vandalizing carschilling on a couch, relaxing in a hot tub, cruising downhill with mountain bikers, crashing pool parties, and getting chased out of backyards. 

Now add hitting a crowded beach to take a swim and raid coolers for lunch meats to the list.

One of the absolute thickest bears I’ve ever seen was joined by her three cubs on a Lake Tahoe beach this weekend. The bears were in startlingly close proximity to the human beachgoers.

The bears escapades were filmed by Jen Watkins, who shared the story with KCRA News 3.

“We were all a little shocked. I guess the bear had been out earlier, my son had seen it.

It had gotten a little bit unfriendly/protective of the cubs with a golden retriever.”

She also said that the momma bear stole a cooler full of sandwiches and drug it off into the woods after cooling down in the water. From the site of things, the guy standing just a few feet away from the cubs is lucky that momma bear didn’t decide to maul his bald head instead of going after the deli meats.

County Sheriff’s deputies alongside the California Department of Fish and Wildlife are now monitoring the area to see if the bear returns. It can be a dangerous situation, bears wandering in places where people congregate.

“They can be very dangerous. We are in their territory when we’re up in the Foothills and in the Sierra Nevadas.

Don’t feed them, don’t entice them, don’t provoke them and, obviously in a setting like this … don’t approach them … respect their space.”

Wouldn’t be the first time bears have invaded Lake Tahoe. This footage was taken a few years back.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock