Nevada Bears Waking Up, Looking for Food

RENO, Nev. (AP) - It wasn't that long a winter's nap, but black bears in western Nevada and the Sierra are starting to wake up - and they're hungry.

A bear that wildlife officials say has probably become accustomed to people was seen late Monday, rummaging in a trash can at a southwest Reno home.

So begins another year of bear encounters.

State wildlife officials say the number of "urban bears" raiding trash cans and breaking into homes has increased steadily in the past decade, particularly at Lake Tahoe.

Last year was the worst across the Reno-Tahoe region, with wildlife officials responding to up to 1,500 calls involving 120 different bears.

Biologists advise using bear-proof trash containers and spraying
around containers with ammonia to mask the scent of food.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)