A female black bear and her cub were released Thursday night in the foothills of Douglas County near Kingsbury Grade.
A trap was set in the area 10 days ago by Nevada Department of Wildlife biologist Carl Lackey because there were complaints of bears doing damage to bee hives.
The adult female was caught in the trap at about 2 a.m. Thursday. The female cub was up a tree, above the trap, when Lackey responded. Lackey tranquilized the female, dragged her out of the trap and placed her under the tree (still tranquilized) where the cub was perched. The cub then came out of the tree and was safely darted.
“We’ve used that technique successfully before,” said Lackey. “By luring the cub from the tree, we can dart it without the bear falling out of the tree and possibly getting hurt or killed.”
The older female had been captured before by Lackey, “roughly in the same area” in 2007 and is estimated to be about 14 years old. “We performed aversive conditioning before and she stayed away seven years. We’ll do it again to her and the cub when we release them and they should get the message to stay away from human activity.”
Wildlife spokesman Chris Healy said the release went off without a hitch.
“We can really make an impression on these bears with aversion conditioning,” said Lackey. “The residents in this area, by cooperating with us and not hindering our bear-saving efforts, are doing what is best for the bears. When we are allowed to do our job and intervene with aversion conditioning techniques we can save bears, and that is our goal.”
In addition to capturing the two bears, Lackey also is working with the owner of the bee hives to strengthen the electric fence that was already in place when the bears first started coming into the area.
Anyone needing to report nuisance bear activity can call the NDOW’s bear hotline telephone number at (775) 688-BEAR (2327). For information on living with bears visit www.ndow.org and find the ”Bear Logic” page on the web.