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Couch Surfer? Burglar?

Apr 18, 2011

2011bear_break-inSome urban bears in Incline Village, Nevada, are taking their city living lifestyle to the full advantage.

Urban bears have lost their innate fear of humans and have become so relaxed about ‘life in town’ that they spend most of their time within a residential/commercial area, not out in the woods. Bears have moved in because the urban environment is attractive – it offers easy access to improperly stored trash and unoccupied properties to explore. It is up to us (the humans) to make attractants unavailable, and make the bears less comfortable in our neighborhoods, in order to keep these wild animals truly wild.

2011bear_break-in1On March 28, 2011, IVGID Public Works’ meter reader was checking on a neighborhood property with a water leak. He spotted several sets of bear tracks leading up to the house, and when he looked in the front door, he could see a trash can spilled over inside. Further investigation uncovered that a large black bear had chosen this home as a winter denning site. The bear’s occupancy caused extensive damage. It even went to the point that several squirrels and raccoons also moved in, causing their own damage.

The bear had entered the home through the under house crawl space, and went into the main house through a floor heater vent. The kitchen and living room were heavily damaged. The bear opened the refrigerator and ate the contents; emptied the cupboards and ate the contents; emptied the trash and ate the contents. The couch crashing bear was gone when authorities arrived to secure the property. His whereabouts are currently unknown.

If you own property in the Tahoe area that is often unoccupied ‐ it is very important that you empty the property of all food and trash – especially if the property will be unoccupied for a long period of time. Consider a house alarm, it works on both humans and animal intruders. Befriend a neighbor to keep an eye on your place.

If you have any questions about dealing with bears, in California contact the BEAR League at (530) 525‐PAWS. In Nevada, contact NDOW at (775) 688‐BEAR (or) contact IVGID Waste Not at (775)832‐1284. In case of emergency, in either state, always call 911.

Madonna Dunbar, IVGID Resource Conservationist / mod@ivgid.org / 775) 832‐1212

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