On Tuesday, we learned of a 500-pound black bear dubbed Hank The Tank who had announced his presence as the new ruler of California by using his massive strength to break into homes and rummage around for delicious human food. Now, several days having passed, it turns out that Hank is not solely responsible for this campaign of serial garbage theft. Hank The Tank is actually three bears, a triumvirate of furry overlords who will now be referred to as Hanks The Tanks.
The Sacramento Bee reports that officials from the California Department Of Fish And Wildlife (CDFW) explained yesterday that “DNA samples collected from [Hanks-surveyed] properties showed that at least two other large black bears had broken into some of the homes.” In short, while one Hank weighs about as much as three ordinary black bears on his own, DNA evidence has showed that his work is carried out by a trio of massive bears.
This finding has changed authorities’ approach to their bear problem. Rather than attempt to kill or move a singular Hank to a sanctuary, the state will now attempt to thwart the three Tanks by employing “a neighborhood-wide ‘trap, tag, haze’ effort ... to try to keep all three bears, including Hank, out of homes.”
Since the break-ins demonstrate a problem larger than one bear’s insatiable desire for tasty leftovers, the CDFW is going to couple their attempt to exile the Tanks by looking further into why the animals are seeking food from residents’ homes in the first place. The organization also wants locals to store their trash properly and tourists to put their damn picnic baskets away securely in order to help with the issue.
The important point here, though, is that Hank has been cleared of actions he was only partially responsible for and that those who accused him owe the bear a big apology. Once he and his fellow Tanks have retreated back to the wilderness, locals must do the right thing and offer them a spread of delicious, bear-appropriate treats on specific feast days as lifelong penance.
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