Bear Activity in Western Nevada

A black bear crossing a road
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RENO, Nev. -- A handful of encounters with bears reported this weekend from Reno to Gardnerville, to Yerington. Just last night, a bear roamed into Genoa where it was was hit and killed by a car. Wildlife officials want to prevent anything like that from happening again, and they say they need your help.

"It surprises me. Usually they're up higher, so there must be a reason they're down lower," Mark Lewis, northwest Reno resident said.

For some residents in west Reno, it's a first for bear encounters. Mark Lewis has lived in the area for about twenty years and says it's not his personal safety he's worried about.

"I think bears are afraid of people. I don't think it will attack you, I worry more about our animals that they would get attacked by it," he added.

While Lewis has never had bear problems, he says his neighbors have been dealing with one for the past three nights. They had to call the Nevada Department of Wildlife to set a bear trap in their backyard.

"It's tried to get into their chicken coup and so they scared it off last night. They say it's a small bear, about 150 pounds."

The bear will be able to smell the food inside the trap. when it enters, the door will be triggered to come down and lock. Once a phone call is made to NDOW, that bear will be tagged and then transported back into the wild, unharmed.

"Usually they hesitate to come back down because they don't want to go through that experience again," Chris Healy from Nevada Department of Wildlife said.

One other trap has been placed in west Reno, but bear sightings are more common this time of year than people may think. NDOW says the dry year has made it difficult for bears to find food before they hibernate.

"If the bear can access a human supplied source of food, they will keep coming back until that source is denied," Healy said.

Last night in Truckee, police released a bear that had locked itself in a car while searching for food. It's the third incident in two weeks.

"People don't need to panic, they just need to be aware," Healy said. "The key thing here is we're not selling panic, we're selling awareness."

He recommends removing any fallen fruit from your yard in addition to keeping your trash inside until garbage day will help reduce the temptation for curious bears. They are expected to go into hibernation between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

If you'd like to report any bear activity, call the bear hotline at 775-688-BEAR.

RENO, NV - The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) is reporting bear activity in west Reno, the west side of Carson City, Yerington and the outskirts of Gardnerville.

Two bear traps have been set up in West Reno in the Caughlin Ranch/Mayberry/Juniper area, according to an official with NDOW.

NDOW officials say bear activity in western Nevada is expected to be busy for at least the next month.

People who would like to report bear activity can call the NDOW’s Bear Hotline telephone number at (775) 688-BEAR (2327).