No good way to feed the bears
July 31, 2012
This is the story of three bears, two of which were rehabilitated before they were released in the wild, only to be shot when they started raiding Sorensen’s.
One of the dangers of releasing bears into the wild after they’ve spent time relying on humans for food is that the first thing they do is look for some humans.
It’s often been said here that a fed bear is a dead bear, and that’s why Douglas County is one of the few in Nevada to require people who’ve been subjected to bear raids to purchase bear-proof trash cans.
It’s been five years since we had dozens of bear sightings back in Carson Valley in 2007.
Even Nevada’s bear season topped out at 14 bears, well short of the 20 hunters who pulled tags. That’s compared to the 1,503 legally hunted bears in California during 2010.
In Nevada, state wildlife officials have been forced to put down problem bears. We’re not happy about that, but we know that it’s hard enough to rehabilitate a human, much less a wild animal.
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We also know that dropping off the bear in someone else’s back yard does not solve the problem. Nevada’s use of aversion to make bears afraid of humans seems as effective a solution as letting them go in the mountains and hoping for the best.