Bear encounter leads to Tahoe campground closure

State officials today closed the Marlette Peak Campground along the Tahoe Rim Trail after a camper reported being "stepped on" by a black bear while he slept in his tent.

Nevada Department of Wildlife spokesman Chris Healy said the closure through July 29 is a precaution, and stressed that the camper's encounter is not considered an attack.

"It's probably a smart precaution until we see if there's any other problems in the area," Healy said.

"The odds are, the camper may not have had food in his tent, but may have had it right next to it."

The teenager from the San Francisco Bay area reported that he had set up camp Monday night and was awakened around 4 a.m. Tuesday by a bear "falling" over his tent.

"We're surmising maybe the bear was pushing on the backpack next to the tent when it fell over," Healy said.

Described as small and around 200 pounds, the bear stepped on the camper through the tent, giving him a bloody nose.

The bear scampered off when the camper yelled at it to go away.

"It doesn't fit the description of an attack," Healy said.

Wildlife officials said the hiker continued his mountain trek, camped another night, and didn't report the incident until Wednesday.

He did not seek medical treatment.

Healy said there were no plans to try to find the bear.

"If there's further incidents, we'll have to take further steps," he said.


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