To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Hank The Tank Will No Longer Be Killed After Proof He Was 'Framed'

Hank The Tank Will No Longer Be Killed After Proof He Was 'Framed'

Officials say Hank is no longer a target for euthanisation thanks to DNA evidence proving his innocence

A 220-kilogram black bear, known as 'Hank The Tank', made headlines recently after he was deemed responsible for more than 100 break-ins while scavenging for food in Lake Tahoe in California.

Local news outlet News 4 were quick to report that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) were intending to euthanise the bear, which immediately prompted outrage on social media and amongst residents of the Lake Tahoe.

The South Lake Tahoe Police Department even had to release a statement asking people to stop calling them to give their opinions on what they thought should be done about Hank.

Fortunately, this will no longer be the case, as NPR has reported this week that new DNA evidence has proven that he was, in fact, framed.

According to the CDFW, DNA samples show that at least two other bears have broken into homes in the same area.

The 'culprit' himself, Hank the Tank.
BEAR League

Given this new evidence, officials say they are no longer planning to euthanise Hank if captured. Instead, wildlife experts say their plan is to 'trap, tag and work to relocate habituated bears.'

"All of these efforts are focused on keeping residents safe, and enabling safe and healthy conditions for these bears," the agency said.

Hank is a 'severely food-habituated bear', the CDFW then said, explaining that the term simply means that Hank has 'lost its fear of people and is associating people with access to food'.

This news has been welcomed by many, including the BEAR league, a non-profit who believe in "people living in harmony with bears" and campaign for bears to remain wild and free.

The BEAR League has been campaigning to save Hank ever since the possibility of culling was announced by posting images and videos on their Facebook page to raise awareness of the situation.

In their most recent Facebook post, the league celebrated the fact that Hank will no longer be culled: "DFW notified us and verified our suspicions that DNA has now proved Hank is not responsible for even half of the bear home incursions.

"There are three other bears who have been in more homes than Hank… but he was taking the rap… probably due to his size…. and extreme handsomeness. "

Continuing on that: "So… Hank no longer has a death sentence hanging over him and he is no longer going to have his freedom taken away from him by sending him to a sanctuary.

"We fully support this decision and are grateful for the investigation into the truth that was taken seriously by the experts within our CA DFW.

"Plans are in place for a spring program by the DFW to better monitor bear activity in the Keys and help with better trash management.

"Meanwhile…. Along with all of us at the BEAR League, please be thankful that Hank will be alive, wild and free!"

Featured Image Credit: CBC Sacramento/Bear League

Topics: Animals, US News