They probably thought they’d bearly be noticed.
An adult bear (presumably the mama) and three cubs decided to cool off and have a beach day along with a bunch of humans on a crowded beach in South Lake Tahoe, California, Sunday.
Jen Walkins, an onlooker, captured video of the cubs frolicking in the waves as the adult wandered around Pope Beach.
“We were all a little shocked,” Walkins told KCRA, a local news station in Sacramento.
Walkins also told the outlet that the adult black bear helped itself to some sandwich supplies from someone’s cooler before heading back into the woods.
“There’s a little bit of Yogi bear in the whole situation,” Walkins told CBS Sacramento of the bear’s pic-a-nic basket-like thievery.
And although Walkins mentioned to KCRA that her son had arrived at the beach before her, and said the adult bear “had gotten a little bit unfriendly/protective of the cubs with a golden retriever,” she told CBS Sacramento that the encounter was “exciting” and “super cute.”
“We weren’t at the zoo, but it felt like it,” she said.
Walkins also noted that most humans stayed out of the furry family’s way.
Placer County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Nelson Resendes told KCRA that beachgoers should be cautious of the bears.
“They’re unpredictable. They’re dangerous … They can appear to be mild-mannered at times, but they can be very dangerous,” Resendes said.
He added: “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.”
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife issued a warning regarding humans and bears in Lake Tahoe in May.
“Don’t teach these young bears to be comfortable around people!” a press release stated. The agency said that if bears get too close to humans, then you should make a loud noise or scare them so they feel uncomfortable.
“While it’s fun to see bears and even take pictures and videos, you’re telling the bear that it’s alright to be close to you. Bears are smart and acquire learned behaviors based on their experiences. If they have a negative, scary encounter with a human, chances are they will try to avoid them in the future.”
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