A male black bear was euthanized by the Nevada Department of Wildlife on Monday evening at Incline Village. The 2-year-old bear had been positively identified as the bear which broke into the same house on Friday and Sunday nights and was apparently preparing to break into that same house when tranquilized by a state game warden.
“The bear was euthanized on scene because it was a danger to human beings,” said Chris Healy, wildlife public information officer.
On Monday evening, the bear was observed attempting to break into a locked truck. Initial attempts to scare the bear away were unsuccessful.
“The bear was described as ‘fearless’ by the NDOW game warden at the scene,” Healy said. During the break-ins over the weekend the bear had been sprayed with bear spray but still returned to the area.
During the same incident, another bear in the area was trapped and the yearling female was released Tuesday afternoon in an area southeast of Gardnerville.
The euthanized bear had been handled once before as a nuisance bear near Dayton in early October. It was fitted with an ear tag and released south of Dayton in the Pine Nut Mountain range. Three days later it was seen in the Incline Village area.
In the month of October, state wardens have caught 15 bears. Fourteen of those bears have been caught and released using aversion conditioning techniques.
Three black bears caught in west Reno were released into the mountains above Spooner Lake on Tuesday, near an area where the female has been found before. The female and her two cubs were caught by a game warden on Sunday night in the Juniper Ridge area off of Mayberry Drive.
The female had been caught in west Reno under similar circumstances, in the hot and dry year of 2007.
“She weighed about 200 pounds, just what a wildland female should weigh,” said biologist Carl Lackey. “The two cubs, one male and one female, weighed about 50 pounds apiece. The three of them are perfect candidates for aversion conditioning.”
The female was also caught, according to Lackey, as part of a wildland black bear research project in 2010 in Little Valley (above Washoe Valley in the Carson Range). “The Carson Range is the female’s home range and the fact that we have caught her before in Little Valley makes a backcountry release above Spooner Lake a perfect place for her and the cubs. They have a good chance to remain wild when we release them.”
“West Reno and the west side of Carson City have been ‘hotspots’ for bears since early October as area fruit trees ripen and bears hone in on ‘easy meals’ as they prepare for winter,” Healy said.
Bears are still in the physiological state of hyperphagia where their in-take of food can increase from 3,000 calories a day to as many as 25,000 calories per day.
“Their one and only job is eating this time of year and they are very good at it,” says Lackey. Sierra Nevada black bears usually go into hibernation in between Thanksgiving and Christmas as food sources become harder to find.