RENO, NV - Three five-month-old black bear cubs were captured and released Wednesday, June 16, 2014 along Kingsbury Grade near Stateline, Nevada on Lake Tahoe’s south shore, according to the Nevada Department of Wildlife. Personnel captured the three cubs in a trap, but the mother of the bears eluded capture.
The cubs, a female and two males, were tranquilized and processed by an NDOW biologist with the female bear never more than about 40 yards away while the cubs were being examined, according to NDOW. The processing includes attachment of identifying ear tags, a tattoo on the bear’s inner lip, the affixing of a microchip and the taking of a sample of hair for DNA purposes. The cubs, each weighing between 15 and 22 pounds, were released and reunited with their mother when they awakened from the effects of the tranquilizer.
The female is estimated to be about 19 years old and has had at least three litters and 10 cubs since she was first captured in 2004 by NDOW. “Besides tagging the female in 2004, we have now tagged the 10 cubs she has had since. She and her offspring have provided a lot of information to our ongoing research on Nevada’s black bear population,” says NDOW black bear biologist Carl Lackey.
Since July 1, NDOW has released nine black bears after trapping them. “We are doing our best to keep these bears alive and wild,” says Lackey. “The information we derive from this ongoing research helps do that.”
“To keep bears like this alive and wild, people throughout the Tahoe Basin need to do a much better job of keeping trash away from these bears. Human sources of food are bad news for bears! We do not need another generation of garbage bears at Lake Tahoe or anywhere else,” said Lackey.