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South Lake Tahoe, Calif. September 28, 2016 – Human Interactions with bears at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center during the Kokanee salmon spawn have become a public safety concern.  The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Nevada Department of Wildlife and the U.S. Forest Service are asking visitors to keep their distance when encountering bears.

Visitor center staff routinely encounter unsafe situations when guest ignore posted instructions and get close to bears to take photos and videos.  Bears are unpredictable, wild animals and may attack if they feel threatened.  Wildlife authorities may kill bears if they attack people.

The federal and state agencies do not encourage visits to see bears and advise the public to stay away from bears, as they are dangerous animals.  At Taylor Creek, visitors should stay on trails, respect wildlife and keep a safe distance if bears are present.  Never approach bears for any reason, including a photo opportunity.  If visitors continue to disregard directions to stay away from bears at Taylor Creek, the Forest Service may close the area for public safety.

More information on visiting bear country can be found at https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Keep-Me-Wild/Bear or www.ndow.org/Nevada_Wildlife/Bear_Logic.