NDOW Releases Black Bear Near Gold Ranch - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

NDOW Releases Black Bear Near Gold Ranch

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Nevada Department of Wildlife representatives released a black bear back into the wild Wednesday morning near Gold Ranch after it was captured near Verdi the day before.

NDOW officials captured the deemed ‘nuisance' bear after reports from residents it was damaging cars in that area.

NDOW officials told us they were hopeful that since the male was a first-time offender, they would be able to teach it to stay away from populated areas. "As far as we know, he's just starting this behavior of coming into urban areas and taking advantage of human food," NDOW wildlife biologist Carl Lackey told us on Tuesday. "He's a perfect candidate at this age for our aversive conditioning program."

The aversive program involves trained Karelian bear dogs chasing the animal upon release, and firing bullets to scare them away from humans in the future. NDOW officials say the bear hesitated when the trap door opened, but then ran out being harassed by two dogs. Wardens also fired two rubber shotgun slugs into the rear area of the bear as it fled.

NDOW tranquilized the five-to-six-year-old bear on Tuesday and took blood and fur samples for DNA research. They also outfitted it with an ear tag, microchip, and identifying tattoo to track its behavior.

Lackey says it's important for residents to be Bear Aware by keeping food and trash in bear-proof containers. "People need to lock up their trash. Don't leave anything in vehicles. Don't leave anything outdoors for them to eat, like birdseed or pet food."

Soon after Wednesday's release, Lackey learned that a trap set near the Glenbrook area of South Lake Tahoe had captured a separate bear a few hours earlier. The three-year-old male was previously captured two years ago. "There are conflicting reports about a bear causing damage in this area and breaking into some homes. We are not sure that this bear is guilty of these break-ins so we are going to give it another chance." This bear's release is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon in the Lake Tahoe backcountry, near Heavenly Valley.

The Mono County Sheriff's Office in California says bears have also been reported near the Crowley Lake area in the last few months.

To report bear conflicts in California, contact Northern California dispatch at (916) 445-0380. To report bear conflicts in Nevada, contact the Nevada Department of Wildlife at (775) 688-BEAR (2327). If the issue is an immediate threat, call the local sheriff's department or 911.

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