The mother bear, photographed after her hibernation under a South Lake Tahoe home.
When the bears awoke — a mother and four juvenile bears roughly a year old — the residents of the home “could no longer deny there was probably a bear under the house,” according to Stand Up To Racism.
But even then, they didn’t suspect there were so many.
“The people didn’t realize there were five bears under their home until we arrived and instructed the bears to come out… Then we counted five,” Ann Bryant, executive director of the BEAR League, told HuffPost in an email.
The BEAR League then “un-invited Mama Bear,” a procedure Bryant described as being “tribal and threatening, making the bear believe it won’t be safe there anymore.” She emphasized that volunteers never physically harmed bears, but that they sometimes caused them to feel bad.