Bear dies after officer mistakenly shoots near Lake Tahoe
Authorities say a mother bear who was found with her three cubs in Incline Village has died after being accidentally shot by a Washoe County sheriff’s deputy.
The Nevada Department of Wildlife said the adult bear, named Jasper, died Sunday morning.
The Washoe County Sheriff’s office said it will review the shooting, in which a deputy intended to shoot a rubber round to scare the bear away but fired off a live round instead.
“I am saddened to hear of the passing of the bear from yesterday’s incident in Incline Village involving one of our deputies,” Washoe County Sheriff Chuck Allen said in a statement. “We appreciate the efforts made by the Nevada Department of Wildlife. The sheriff’s office will thoroughly review the incident and take whatever measures are deemed appropriate.”
The shooting happened Saturday morning after the bears were spotted near homes in Incline Village area in Nevada.
This bear family has previously been identified as “food aggressive” and they’ve been reported multiple times in recent weeks.
Officials said the cubs are old enough to be on their own.
The shooting sparked outrage on social media among bear advocates and Tahoe residents who have criticized Nevada law enforcement and wildlife officers for their actions regarding bears. This past week a NDOW biologist filed a lawsuit against the Homewood-based Bear League and several individuals for defamation.
Amid the outrage, the Bear League posted on Facebook Sunday regarding the passage of Jasper. In the post, the Bear League extended “heartfelt Thank You goes out to both Dr Peri Wolff and Director Tony Wasley of the Nevada Department of Wildlife for jumping in immediately and doing everything possible to save her life.” The league also said a memorial and celebration of life is being planned.
In honor of Jasper’s life, the league asked everyone to “please be gentle with each other.”