A 3-year-old male black bear trapped Sunday in the Glenbrook area was euthanized Monday morning as a threat to public safety.
“This was the second time since late June that we have handled this bear and, based on its lack of fear of humans and the fact that it continues to be too comfortable around humans, we made the decision to euthanize it,” Nevada Department of Wildlife biologist Carl Lackey stated in a news release.
Wardens captured the bear June 24 in the Glenbrook area after receiving reports of a bear attempting to enter homes. Because it could not be confirmed that this was the bear doing the damage, it was released June 25 after being fitted with an identifying ear tag in the mountains above Lake Tahoe.
On June 28, the same bear was photographed by a homeowner in the Galena area, where it was suspected of damaging multiple properties.
“One person in that Galena neighborhood tried to shoo the bear away from his house, but the bear actually tried to follow him during this encounter,” Lackey stated. “This kind of behavior shows a level of habituation to humans that can be very dangerous.”
NDOW spokesman Chris Healy said the decision to euthanize the bear was based on its behavior, not the fact that it had previously been handled twice. When biologists handle bears, they put a yellow tag on the bear’s ear, which indicates it might have been tagged just for research, he said. When game wardens handle a bear, they put a pink tag on its ear, which indicates it tends to be a bear that could be considered habitual because of where it travels. This bear had a pink tag on its ear, he said.
The Glenbrook area started seeing increased bear activity in mid-July with property-damage reports leading to the setting of traps in the area. The bear that was euthanized was caught in a trap Sunday.