Bear captured not intended target | RecordCourier.com

Bear captured not intended target

by Sarah Hauck
shauck@recordcourier.com

A female bear, who had never been captured by Nevada Department of Wildlife, was in the wrong place at the wrong time around midnight Monday.

The 15-year-old black bear was released off Kingsbury Grade Wednesday, as another trap lay in wait for the real target bear.

"We heard the trap shut about midnight and when we looked in we knew it was the wrong bear right away," homeowner Jeannie Burns said.

The Burns called the state to have a trap set after a larger male bear didn't leave their garage, entered their home and refused to leave Sunday night.

The male bear was not afraid of the Burns or deputies who showed up to run the bear off.

"I saw him in the garage and screamed, but he never left," Burns said. "I yelled for my husband and must have left the screen door open because he (the bear) followed me into the house. He never damaged anything."

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Wildlife biologist Carl Lackey encourages anyone having frequent contacts with bears to call right away so a trap can be set before the bear enters a residence.

Burns said the "trouble bear" showed up across the street the night after the trap was sprung by the female.

"My neighbor said he was across the street at his place last night (Tuesday)," she said. "He said he'd been digging in the compost pile every night."

The Burns had been seeing bears for at least six weeks before the male entered their home and the female was trapped.

Lackey said while some bears have become used to human contact, the behavior by the bear that entered the Burns' home is not normal.

"Most bears will leave when they see or hear someone," he said. "This one was not afraid of anyone, which may mean there is something else going on with him."

The female bear that was caught in the trap on the Burns' property on Indian Trail, had never been caught and appeared to be nursing a cub.

Lackey said with the fourth year of a drought and the late frost, bear activity will increase.

"June and July were really slow probably because of the precipitation," he said. "We aren't at the same number of captures as last year yet, but that will change. Things will pick up considerably."

The county is currently suffering the consequences of a fourth year of drought.

That coupled with a late frost killing all of the fruit in backyard trees, bears will be moving to find food.

"Its is unbelievable to see the amount of trash cans out," Lackey said. "Just today,as I was driving down Foothill, trash can after trash can was tipped over."

NDOW encourages that any kind of food or trash be picked up or locked up inside of a garage.

Also, eliminating other attractions like birdfeeders can also help protect a property against unwanted bear visit.

"Bear conflicts are like heart disease," Lackey said. "No one wants to take preventative measures until they see symptoms. By then it is too late."

For more information on the NDOW conflict bear program visit http://www.NDOW.org/BEAR.

To report a conflict bear call 775-688-2327.