California

‘Don’t poke the bear’: Placer deputies warn visitors not to agitate wildlife

Named Mr. T-Shirt by the Placer County Sheriff’s Department, a bear known to roam around Kings Beach area was cornered by tourists taking photos of him.
Named Mr. T-Shirt by the Placer County Sheriff’s Department, a bear known to roam around Kings Beach area was cornered by tourists taking photos of him. Placer County Sheriff's Office

Mr. T-shirt, a bear that lives in the Kings Beach area on Lake Tahoe’s north shore, found himself in a predicament a few days ago, according to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, when tourists cornered him against a fence to take photos of him.

Law enforcement officers took to social media Wednesday to remind visitors and residents of the dangers of engaging wild bears. Although normally docile, the bear could have “become agitated and attacked,” according to authorities.

Weighing a “smothering 400 pounds,” Mr. T-Shirt got his name because he has a “large white patch on his chest,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

Bears sometimes make surprise appearances, like the one caught rummaging through rubbish at the North Lake Tahoe sheriff’s station in May or the California black bear spotted and captured on the UC Davis campus in June.

But should you encounter a bear, it is important to maintain “ a safe distance ... away from” its direct path, the Sheriff’s Office said.

“Yes, bears are cute and fluffy, but they have instincts,” wrote the Sheriff’s Office. “Don’t poke the bear.”

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Kyung Mi Lee, from Yale, writes about government and politics for The Sacramento Bee. She is originally from Honolulu, Hawaii.
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