They probably didn't expect to be noticed at all.
On a crowded beach in South Lake Tahoe, California
, on Sunday, an adult bear (presumably the mama) and three cubs decided to cool off and have a beach day with a group of humans.
An onlooker, Jen Walkins, recorded video of the cubs playing in the waves while the adult explored Pope Beach.
“We were all a little surprised,” Walkins told KCRA, a Sacramento-based local news
According to Walkins, the adult black
bear ate sandwiches from someone's cooler before returning to the woods.
“There’s a little bit of Yogi bear in the whole situation,” Walkins said of the bear’s picnic basket thievery, as reported by CBS Sacramento.
Although Walkins told KCRA that her son had arrived at the beach before her, and that the adult bear had become "a little bit unfriendly/protective of the cubs with a golden retriever," she told CBS Sacramento that the encounter had been "exciting" and "super cute."
“We weren’t at the zoo
, but it felt that way,” she explained.
Most humans, according to Walkins, stayed out of the way of the furry family
Beachgoers should be cautious of bears
, according to Placer County Sheriff's Office Lt. Nelson Resendes.
“They’re unpredictable. They’re dangerous... They may appear mild-mannered at times, but they can be extremely dangerous,” Resendes said.
“Don't feed them, entice them, provoke them, and, obviously, don't approach them in this setting. Respect their space
,” he added.
In May, the California Department of Fish
issued a warning about human-bear interactions in Lake Tahoe.
“Don’t teach these young bears to be comfortable around people
!” the agency stated in a press release, adding that if bears get too close to humans, make a loud noise or scare them to make them feel uncomfortable.
“While it’s exciting to see bears and even take pictures and videos, you’re telling the bear that it’s okay to be close to you. Bears are smart and learn 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.”