Bear trapped after entering neighborhood
A 7-year-old repeat offender from the Glenbrook area found herself behind bars Tuesday night.
The 150-pound female black bear walked straight into a trap. It wasn’t the first time she’s been caught.
“The last bear we caught in Glenbrook was her, last year,” said Carl Lackey, wildlife biologist and game warden with the Nevada Division of Wildlife.
The bear was wearing a tracking collar, identifying her as part of the Bear Tracking Research Project through the University of Nevada, Reno.
Frank Moffett, a longtime Glenbrook resident contacted Lackey on Tuesday, after seeing two bears on his property within two days.
“It was only out of concern that I called because there are a lot of elderly people and children in this area,” Moffett said. “I called and they brought the trap out because bears are starting to make regular appearances out here.”
Moffett said he put barbecued chicken, marshmallows and apples in the trap to lure in one of the nightly intruders.
“There was a big one out here two nights ago,” Moffett said on Wednesday. “I live right next to the Glenbrook Creek and they hang out down there. The thing I’m most fearful of is I have two young boys. I’ve seen a lot of bears out here and we caught this one last night. She just climbed right up into the trailer.”
Lackey, Chris and Shaunda Vasey, also with the Nevada Division of Wildlife, and Jon Beckman, a UNR medical student doing a study on bears, arrived at Moffett’s residence around noon on Wednesday. After identifying the bear, Vasey shot her with a tranquilizer dart. Once asleep, she was pulled out of the trap, weighed and measured, then replaced in the trap trailer for the night.
“We give them a full night to recover from the drugs before we release them within their original habitat,” Lackey said. “We don’t relocate them. I’ll monitor this one tonight and then tomorrow morning we’ll take her up within her same home range.”
Before she’s set free, the bear will undergo some human aversion therapy, known as the “spank and release” treatment.
“We shoot them with rubber slugs and pepper spray,” Lackey said. “Bears become very human conditioned and that’s what we’re trying to change. When it gets to the point where they start breaking into homes, then you’ve got a dead bear, because we can’t be having that.
“We don’t want to kill them. Bears are supposed to be here. Bear encounters are going to be common when you live in bear country. Bear and human conflicts is what we’re trying to avoid.”
The Glenbrook bear is one of nine or 10 collared bears in the Tahoe Basin.
“The purpose of tracking is mainly to learn where these nuisance bears are going,” Lackey said.
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