NDOW removes bear trap from Stateline street
October 3, 2018
After more than one month in the same location, the Nevada Department of Wildlife has removed a trap that reignited anger over the department's policies for managing bears.
The trap was intended to capture a bear believed to have entered into multiple homes, including multiple break ins at one home where the trap was located, the Tribune previously reported. The bear has not been captured, NDOW public information officer Ashley Sanchez told the Tribune Wednesday.
NDOW, she explained, is constantly moving its traps based on reports and requests from people. NDOW made the decision to remove the trap on Terrace View Ridge after it had been in the same location for more than a month. Sanchez was unaware if other traps in nearby areas were still in place.
The department's bear management policies have been a frequent target of criticism from local residents who accuse NDOW of being quick to euthanize bears rather than educating residents and visitors — allegations that NDOW has repeatedly denied.
A captured bear does not equate to a dead bear, Sanchez said. When a bear is captured it is tagged, which helps NDOW track the animal and can help determine if there is human behavior, such as unsecured trash, influencing a bear's behavior.
If a bear is determined to have entered a home or homes multiple times it could be euthanized.
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Bear activity tends to increase with the changing seasons as some bears prepare for hibernation. Wildlife agencies urge people to be bear aware.
CLARIFICATION: This story originally stated “If a bear is determined to have entered a home or homes multiple times it is euthanized.” It has since been updated to reflect that entering a home does not automatically mean the bear is euthanized. NDOW public information officer Ashley Sanchez provided the following:
“Making the decision to euthanize a bear is not something we take lightly. A lot goes into our decision making, and we don't treat all cases the same. There have been times when homeowners go on vacation, and leave their windows and doors unlocked, and bears get in. Those bears will not be euthanized. There are times when young bears get into homes, and we're able to use aversive conditioning, and successfully teach them to stay away from neighborhoods. We've had people leave their garage doors open, and a bear gets in. We will not euthanize a bear in that situation.”