Region’s bears on National Geographic cable program |

Region’s bears on National Geographic cable program

Photo provided by Mike Gagliano / A group of bears cruises the Upper Kingsbury neighborhood recently.

RENO (AP) – Nevada’s efforts to address growing conflicts between humans and bears is getting some national attention on an upcoming program airing on the National Geographic Channel.

The state Department of Wildlife’s bear aversion and research program is featured prominently in the 13-part series titled “Animal Extractors,” which begins airing Monday at 10 p.m., state officials said Thursday.

State biologist Carl Lackey worked with a film production crew on the program for about three months.

“The associate producer said that the Nevada bear stories will be included in at least the first six episodes, but that they are still in editing,” Lackey said Thursday.

Nevada had few problems with bears until about 20 years ago when severe drought caused them to begin frequenting increasingly urbanized areas in search of food, he said.

Lackey’s two dogs, Stryker and Rooster, are a large part of the segment on the television show. The dogs are bred and trained to haze bears in an effort to scare them from digging through neighborhood trash cans and breaking into houses around Lake Tahoe and in the Sierra foothills.

The research that Lackey has been involved in since 1997, in cooperation with Dr. Jon Beckmann of the Wildlife Conservation Society, will be the subject of at least one episode.

NDOW currently is working on a bear management plan, which will include research on opinions, perceptions, desires and willingness to participate in bear management, but is suffering from a lack of funding, officials said.

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