340-pound bear trapped in Genoa | TahoeDailyTribune.com

340-pound bear trapped in Genoa

Susie Vasquez
Dave Walther, of the Nevada Department of Wildlife, monitors the 340-pound bear after tranquilizing it to take measurements and place a tracking collar on it Tuesday. The bear was caught in Genoa on Monday night.

A male bear weighing 340 pounds found himself in the Nevada Department of Wildlife’s canister-like bear trap in Genoa Park early Tuesday.

The bear was just 50 yards from wildlife habitat and open garbage drew the bear into the area, said Carl Lackey of the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

“I can’t convince people that they can’t leave their garbage out,” he said.

The bear was weighed and collared at the Nevada Department of Wildlife on Mallory Way in Carson City later Tuesday morning. It was then returned to the site of capture.

Aversion conditioning using rubber bullets and specially trained dogs will be used in an attempt to keep the bear from returning, but garbage is a big draw, Lackey said.

Lisa Granahan, Genoa’s interim town manager, said residents are seeing bears regularly. The Genoa Country Store has secured its garbage in trash containers protected by an enclosure, but the bears are tearing that down.

In an effort to address the problem the Douglas County Board of Commissioners is considering expanding its bear-proof trash ordinance outside its current boundaries around Lake Tahoe, but those containers are expensive.

A new 90-gallon bear-proof tote with a reinforced plastic lid and special latch lock is being tested in an effort to find a more cost-effective alternative, Granahan said.

“It’s still maneuverable and it’s a durable plastic,” she said. “We got this loaner on July 13 and the bears haven’t tried to take it out yet.”

The test is part of a cooperative effort between the Nevada Department of Wildlife, residents and Douglas Disposal Inc. Some issues have arisen concerning the latches when the garbage is picked up by Douglas Disposal, but Granahan hopes the issues can be worked out, she said.

In addition to keeping garbage contained and away from bears, residents in Genoa and elsewhere are encouraged to remove bird feeders and keep pet food inside. Barbecue grills should be kept clean. Garbage cans sprayed lightly with ammonia will discourage the animals, Granahan said.

For residents considering a metal bear-proof container, it’s important that it accommodates your type of local service, whether you use regular cans or a tote on wheels, said Jeanne Lear of Douglas Disposal.

Boomer Schultz, route supervisor for Douglas Disposal said there’s nothing to keep the bears from dragging those totes away. The totes carry a three-year warranty, but enclosures are a one-time purchase, mounted in cement.

“The enclosures are proven,” he said. “We use them on South Shore.”

Bear-proof containers available locally:

• Baycon charges $650 per container, but cheaper rates are available if the units are purchased in bulk. Call (530) 587-1374 or visit the Web site, http://www.bakerbins.com.

• BearGuard bins, which cost $1,049, hold two 32-gallon containers and can be purchased at Meek’s in Meyers, or Nel’s Hardware in South Lake Tahoe. Call (530) 581-2211.

• Operating out of Truckee, Brown Bear offers its cans for $675. Call (530) 587-2895 or e-mail brownbearhomecare@earthlink.net.

• Carson Valley Welding offers its NoBearCan, for either 32-gallon cans or totes, starting at $999. Call 884-9353 or (530) 318-1136.

— Contact reporter Susie Vasquez at svasquez@recordcourier.com or (775) 782-5121, ext. 211.

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