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Trappers hunting neighborhood bear

Rob Bhatt

An El Dorado County trapper on Tuesday tried to catch an apparently injured bear that snatched dog food out of the garage of a Nez Perce Drive house.

The bear twice reportedly entered and left a trap set near the house before leaving the area, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department reported. The trapper intended to leave the device set in the area over night.

The animal was discovered at about 1 p.m. inside the garage of the Tahoe Paradise house, occupied by Paul and Andrea Dunn.

The animal appeared to have a large gash on its back and was moving slowly.

Area residents called the Department of Fish and Game because they were concerned about the bear’s health.

Fish and Game officers reportedly told the neighbors that they kill bears that they trap.

Neighbors now hope the bear does not return for its own welfare.

“The only reason we called Fish and Game was because it was hurt,” said Andrea Dunn. “We don’t want it killed.”

Neighbors said they have seen the bear in their neighborhood for the past three years.

“He doesn’t bother anything,” said area resident Chuck Ingram.

Paul Ingram said the first time he saw the bear was about three years ago when it got its head stuck in the “cat door” to his house.

On Tuesday, the bear casually strolled across the front of Dunn’s house after finishing the pile of dog food that it ripped out of a bag in the garage.

The animal barely even budged when Fish and Game Lt. Rob Kilbourne approached the animal in his car, honking the horn and blaring the siren to shoo the bear away.

Kilbourne suspects the animal has come out of hibernation early this year following several days of springlike weather. He said the animal may return to hibernation with the forecasted onset of cold weather.

He also urges residents to not feed bears or leave garbage accessible to wild animals, because it makes them reliant on humans for food. This can make them return to neighborhoods and pose a threat to property, pets, and even humans.

County Animal Control officers were not available Tuesday to verify whether the bear on Nez Perce was the same animal they tried to shoo away Monday from outside a house on Tehama Drive.


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