Offbeat

Bear turns heads on Lake Tahoe ski slopes

Bear turns heads on Lake Tahoe ski slopes
A bear crosses in front of skiers at the Far West Masters ski race Friday Jan. 10, 2014 on Heavenly Mountain in South Lake Tahoe, Calif.
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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (AP) — An unusual sight for winter turned some skiers' heads on the slopes at Lake Tahoe: a black bear.

Skiers participating in a race let the bruin amble across the slopes and disappear into woods without incident at Heavenly Mountain Resort on Friday.

Nevada Department of Wildlife spokesman Chris Healy says an unusually dry, mild winter in the Sierra has made some bears either not hibernate or partially hibernate.

He tells the Tahoe Daily Tribune that other bears out this time of year are what the department calls "urban interface" bears that don't hibernate if they have easy access to human food.

Cheryl Millham of Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care agrees bears are currently not in a real deep sleep because of the weather.

The snowpack around the Tahoe Basin is roughly 25 percent of normal for this time of year.
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