Bear goes house hunting in Carson City | NevadaAppeal.com

Bear goes house hunting in Carson City

Cory McConnell
Appeal Staff Writer
Brad Horn/Nevada Appeal A 300-350 pound 4-year-old brown version of a black bear races through the courtyard at the Southgate Apartments in Carson City after the bear was shot three times with tranquilizers by a Nevada Division of Wildlife officer on Saturday. The bear was found sleeping under a pine tree two blocks away 2 hours and 17 minutes later.
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Hopping fences and darting through yards, an adult bear led Carson City sheriff’s deputies and a state game warden on a chase through a residential neighborhood just east of South Carson Street on Saturday.

The bear, which Nevada Division of Wildlife Game Warden Randy Lusetti characterized as the “brown version of a black bear,” weighed an estimated 350 pounds and was probably around 4 or 5 years old, Lusetti said.

The first report of the bear came into the sheriff’s department at 4:19 Saturday morning, when a Windtree Circle resident, a few blocks from where the bear would eventually be captured, called police to report a “large bear in the living room,” said Carson City Sheriff’s Sgt. Jeff Melvin.

All was quiet for nearly five hours, until residents near Fairview Drive started calling 911 at about 9:10 Saturday morning to report the suburbia-bound beast.

More than two hours and two tranquilizer darts later, the bear finally collapsed on a shaded spot underneath a pine tree in the backyard of a Roop Street home near Hawaii Circle.

Six men hefted the sedated animal into an NDOW truck for transport to a local holding facility where wildlife officials will try to determine the wanderer’s origins.

The animal had obviously been captured before, a scrap of matted hair around his neck belied a collar. And inside its mouth a green tattoo holds a code that will reveal more information about the bear’s past.

Several factors, however, made it too hard to tell Saturday where the bear has been or where it is from. The numbers from the tattoo will have to be run through a database to know for sure if it’s even a Nevada bear.

First, Lusetti said, Nevada no longer uses green ink for the identifying mouth tattoos. Second, the bear had no ear tag, which NDOW commonly puts on captured animals. It’s too early to tell, but the different identifying marks could mean the bear is actually from California.

Lusetti said the bear would be given a checkup and its marks studied Saturday, and it could be released into the wild as soon as Sunday.

The bears are generally returned to where they originally came from, Lusetti said, “just a little deeper,” into the wilderness.

n Contact reporter Cory McConnell at cmcconnell@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.