Fruit trees throughout western Nevada are starting to produce ripe fruit this summer.
As the fruit develops, the black bears are sure to take notice, wildlife officials are warning.
“Fruit trees are a major attraction for Nevada’s black bears,” said Nevada Department of Wildlife biologist Carl Lackey. “During this time of year and especially during this drought, fruit is on their radar.”
NDOW is asking people who own fruit trees to harvest their fruit as quickly as possible and not allow it to become an attraction for the bears.
“We have had many cases over the years where people allow their fruit to ripen and fall to the ground and then bears become a nuisance in their yard and the surrounding neighborhoods,” Lackey said.
“If you own fruit trees and you do not want bears to eat your fruit then you need to act quickly in harvesting the fruit from the trees. People who leave the fruit on the trees stand a good chance of the bears damaging the trees while they climb them in search of a meal.”
The pace of bear activity and the sightings of those bears along the edges of western Nevada’s cities are only going to increase as summer rolls toward fall. “We are trying to create tolerance amongst people living in these urban interface areas,” said NDOW Public Information Officer Chris Healy. “They need to be bear aware and do what they can to keep bears alive and wild. Part of that responsibility means managing fruit crops and the weekly trash better.”
Since July 1, NDOW has handled 19 bears in western Nevada. Fourteen of those bears have been safely released back in to the wild. Three of the bears were hit and killed by cars, one was euthanized for public safety reasons and one was euthanized for depredating upon livestock.
Persons needing to report nuisance bear activity can call the NDOW’s Bear Hotline telephone number at (775) 688-BEAR (2327). For information on living with bears persons can go to www.ndow.org and find the ”Bear Logic” page on the web.