Bears may add scares to trick-or-treating
October 17, 2007
MINDEN – Carson City and Douglas County officials are warning trick-or-treaters to be very wary if they see another Halloween goodie-hunter who looks like a bear.
It could be the real thing.
Bear sightings have more than quadrupled this summer after a dry winter sent the animals teeming out of the woods and into populated areas in search of water and food.
Some 80 bears have been trapped in an area stretching from Reno to south Douglas County and west to Lake Tahoe of which eight have been euthanized, according to the Nevada Department of Wildlife.
Carson City Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Steve Schuette said trick-or-treaters should be especially careful on Carson City’s west side, where a number of bears have been sighted in recent days.
Marcy De Rose, who saw a bear at a Douglas County park last week, said she is concerned that her neighborhood near the high school – popular with trick-or-treaters – may be a dangerous lure to the brazen bears.
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“I usually decorate, but I’m not going to this year,” she said. “I’m not going to encourage kids to come here because the smell of candy will attract the bear.”
Douglas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Tom Mezzetta agreed that bears may be attracted by the scent of a child’s trick-or-treat bag and offered some advice.
“If confronted by a bear, stay with others in a group, do not try to run away,” he said. “You can’t outrun a bear and it may provoke a pursuit. Slowly back away, heading for shelter. Talk calmly amongst yourselves so that the bear identifies you as human.”
Mezzetta said it may be necessary to drop the trick-or-treat bag during a retreat.
“But do not throw it at the bear as it may be mistaken as an act of aggression,” he said. “Give the bear a wide berth as you seek shelter.”