A burglarious black bear in California responsible for at least 21 home break-ins in South Lake Tahoe since last year is headed to a wildlife sanctuary in Colorado.
The female black bear, known as 64F and nicknamed “Hank the Tank,” has a rap sheet that includes “at least 21 DNA-confirmed home break-ins and extensive property damage,” according to the California Fish and Wildlife Department.
The bear, which wildlife biologists captured and immobilized Friday, was headed to the Colorado sanctuary Monday, said Jordan Traverso, a spokesperson for the California Fish and Wildlife Department.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife has approved the relocation, California wildlife authorities said.
“Relocation is not typically an option for conflict animals over concern that relocating an animal will relocate the conflict behavior to a different community,” according to the California wildlife agency. It said relocating the bear was an alternative that protects the bear, residents and visitors in South Lake Tahoe.
The bear’s three cubs, which were with her during recent break-ins, officials said, were moved to Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue in Petaluma, California, officials said.
The cubs were relocated to “discontinue the negative behaviors they learned" so they can be returned to the wild, officials said.
Bear 64F has been monitored closely by California wildlife officials since last year, the agency said.
Staff members from the agency and the Nevada Wildlife Department immobilized the bear and collected DNA. The animal was given an ear tag and a satellite tracking collar that helped officials link her to the home invasions in Lake Tahoe from February 2022 to May, officials said.
Another bear is also making headlines. Iraq’s prime minister has called for an investigation about a bear that escaped its crate in the cargo hold of an Iraqi plane before it departed from the Dubai airport.
A representative with Iraqi Airways could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.
Iraqi Airways said it wasn’t to blame for the bear’s escape. It also said the aircraft’s crew worked with authorities in the United Arab Emirates, which dispatched specialists to sedate the animal and remove it from the plane.
A video circulating on social media shows the plane’s captain apologizing to passengers for Friday’s delayed takeoff because of the bear’s escape.
Iraqi Airways said the bear was being flown from Baghdad to Dubai. But a person speaking on the video clip on social media suggested otherwise.
An Iraqi Airways official confirmed to The Associated Press that the bear was, in fact, being transported to Baghdad, the Iraqi capital.
Keeping wild animals as pets has become popular among the wealthy in Baghdad.