Bear killed after caught in trap near Incline mall |

Bear killed after caught in trap near Incline mall

Annie Flanzraich
Nevada Appeal News Service
Jen Schmidt/Nevada Appeal News ServiceA bear that was caught Tuesday night in the trap outside of Ernie's Bakery in Incline Village was euthanized Wednesday.

INCLINE VILLAGE ” Nevada Department of Wildlife officials killed a bear in Incline Village on Wednesday after it was caught in a trap in the Country Club Mall.

The bear, a dark brown 5-year-old male that weighed about 400 pounds, was a frequent visitor to the area during the past five weeks, said Nevada Department of Wildlife Biologist Carl Lackey.

Bakery owner Ernie Feld of Ernie’s International Bakery discovered the bear in the trap near his restaurant at 8:30 a.m. Feld routinely fills the trap with bait to help the Department of Wildlife.

Feld’s bait included coconut macaroons, apple strudel and plums.

After Lackey arrived on scene around 11:30 a.m., he confirmed the bear was the one the department had been looking for. The bear was one of three that have been continuous nuisances in the Incline area.

“We’ve been after this bear for a while,” Lackey said. “We’ve had traps set for about six weeks. He matched the description of a bear who’s been in this area breaking into homes and businesses.”

Lackey said the bear also broke into storage at La Fondue nearby and walked in the front door of Feld’s during the day.

Because the bear has broken into homes, Lackey said, the bear was euthanized for public safety.

“(Euthanizing a bear) sucks, bottom line. But I’d rather have that than a bear that’s that conditioned break into a home and inadvertently hurt somebody,” Lackey said.

The bear was killed about 3:30 p.m., he said.

Before killing the bear, Lackey took biological samples for research the department is doing on bear behavior.

Lackey stressed that killing a bear is the department’s last form of response.

However Ann Bryan, executive director of the BEAR League, said killing bears exacerbates the problem.

“Killing doesn’t solve the problem,” Bryant said. “Another bear will just come. How many do we have to sacrifice before people wake up and understand that it is us who are the problem and not the bears?”

Lackey said it is very important for people to become aware that they live in bear country.

“We’re working to educate the public on how to avoid contact with the bears,” he said. “Incline is in a forest, there are always going to be bears. We have to learn how to live with them and tolerate them without inducing a conflict.”

Lackey said one of the things humans are responsible for is to remove the temptations for bears to go into urban areas, like trash and available food.