Don’t Euthanize Starving Bear for Destroying Property in Search of Food

Target: Peter Tira, Information Officer for California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Goal: Safely relocate a starving 500-pound bear instead of opting for euthanasia.

A 500-pound black bear named Hank the Tank is breaking into homes in Lake Tahoe, California looking for meals. He has damaged nearly thirty properties on his quest and avoided capture for nearly seven months. He has never harmed any humans when he breaks into homes. There is no denying that he could eventually be a threat to humans, but that does not mean he should be killed.

Peter Tira, Information Officer for California Department of Fish and Wildlife, has stated that Hank’s size and strength is what makes this so frightening. A homeowner association has agreed to allow wildlife personnel to capture the bear but they are strongly against killing him. They only want a capture that ensures the bear’s safety and relocation to a sanctuary or zoo.

The department calls euthanasia the last option, yet they keep giving excuses on why it is possible they will kill the bear. Tira even stating there will be no fairytale ending and that bears like Hank cannot survive in sanctuaries. The reality is that relocating the bear to a sanctuary will give him a chance at life. He does not deserve to be killed when there is hope. It seems there are excuses being given to the public by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife as to why Hank’s capture will ultimately lead to his death, even though the residents do not want that at all and have strongly opposed the idea.

Residents believe that it is not the bear’s fault that he’s become comfortable around people and attached to their food. They believe that Hank wants human food largely because tourists didn’t know how to properly keep their food away from the bears.

Sign below and demand that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife listen to the public and residents to make sure Hank the Tank is not killed.


Dear Peter Tira,

There are options before killing Hank the Tank. Whether or not you believe that he has no chance of survival at a sanctuary, it is still a chance for him to experience life safely. He may survive and thrive at a sanctuary but will have no chance of that if he is euthanized. We demand you listen to the public, the petitions, and the residents urges to save Hank the Tank from being inhumanely killed.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Thomas Fuhrmann 


  1. Thank is a living being we SHARE our planet with. DO NOT MURDER HIM FOR JUST BEING HIMSELF! Such an act is unethical and immoral. As humans we have the responsibility to protect innocents such as Hank! Please help him and DO NOT MURDER HIM! Do the right thing

  2. Why are humans so quick to murder? Send him to a sanctuary! Do the right thing for once in your life! Save him!

  3. tamara beinlich says:

    Turns out they did DNA on the slobber left by bears at break-ins and they found Hank the Tank was not the only bear! No bears will be killed!
    Given the new evidence, officials say they are no longer planning to euthanize Hank if captured. Instead, wildlife experts say their plan is to “trap, tag and work to relocate habituated bears.”

  4. Shelly Blazich says:


  5. Evan Jane Kriss says:

    PLEASE SEND HANK TO SANCTUARY. There is no scientific reason that he would not do well there. DO NOT KILL HIM. He has done nothing to warrant this. It is humans who have acclimated him to searching for food around peoples’ homes.

  6. Hank most definately must be sent to a sanctuary.Do not kill this poor defenceless bear!

  7. Linda L Cummings says:

    Here’s a novel idea. How about we stop plowing under and building houses on every damn square inch of land and leave something some other species that have a right to enough food, habitat and places to roam. WE HAVE TAKEN EVERY GOD DAMN THING FROM EVERY OTHER SPECIES AND NOW WE WANT TO KILL THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE STARVING TO DEATH?! THIS IS A DAMNING SIGN OF ONE EXTREMELY SICK SOCIETY.

  8. louis castora says:

    once again the human way out is to kill everything in sight. so it’s better to just kill this beautiful animal than take a chance he will be fine in a sanctuary. then again that might require the lazy people involved in this process to go beyond ordering his death. humanity is a disgrace and our callous and destructive behavior will be our own undoing.

  9. I suggest wildlife and Fisheries capture the bear and relocate him to a safer area. No reason to put him down. Your the one that has invaded his territory.

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