Officials warn public on bears | NevadaAppeal.com

Officials warn public on bears

NEVADA APPEAL NEWS SERVICE

As spring slowly arrives in the Sierra Nevada – and the promise of another nuisance bear season arrives – the Nevada Department of Wildlife is urging western Nevada residents to be “Bear Aware.”

Since Feb. 22, four nuisance bears have been caught by NDOW personnel in Incline Village and Crystal Bay. Significant property damage to houses, cars and even a drydocked boat was reported by property owners.

In addition, the bears showed a lack of fear of humans, according to a statement from NDOW. Three of the bears have been euthanized as dangerous or aggressive. One was caught, given aversive-conditioning treatment and released.

“I commend citizens for taking precautions and urge them to continue to be aware,” NDOW Director Ken Mayer said in a statement. “This is a public-safety issue, and continued emphasis on public education and enforcement of bear-proof trash ordinances will help mitigate any issues.”

NDOW has a “three strike” policy for nuisance bears that are found in urban areas but are generally not causing damage or showing aggressive or unusual behavior. In these instances, bears are tranquilized and released. Most of the time these releases take place in the area near where the bear lives, but depending on the circumstance, the bear may be transported to an area outside of its estimated home range, the department said.

“At this time of year,” Gov. Brian Sandoval said in a statement, “we see an unfortunate rise in human-wildlife conflicts, and recent encounters in the Lake Tahoe Basin demonstrate that safety and security must be our first priority.”

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People who want to learn more can visit NDOW’s website at http://www.ndow.org and click the “Bear Aware” link.