RENO, NV - Be ready--you might find an unwelcome guest in your home or yard this summer. Bears are making an early visit to suburban neighborhoods and its only going to get worse in the months ahead.
A local woman faced a bear in her backyard Monday morning and it didn't leave without leaving his mark. She lives in west Reno and noticed her chickens had wandered out of their coop and into her backyard. That's when she came face to face with an unwanted visitor--a black bear.
"This is a sign that we're probably going to see more bears early, more bears often in the summer of 2014 than we have in a long, long time," said Chris Healy from the Nevada Department of Wildlife.
The bear had broken in to her chicken coop, but didn't make a kill.
"When you build a chicken coup or you put out a bird feeder, you're also putting out something that might be more attractive to a hungry bear," said Healy.
Those living in Reno aren't used to seeing bears, but Incline Village residents know how to deal with them because its a common occurrence.
"Every couple months at least they're around. This morning I saw one in the yard," Dylan Burdick of Incline Village said.
"They're probably more scared of you than you are of them. Get big ,make a lot of noise, bang pots and pans and don't leave your trash out," said Megan Heatwole of Incline Village.
Because of the drought, the lack of natural foods is sending bears to the western edge of Reno. NDOW predicts the total number of bears in the area will rival that of 2007, the busiest bear year in northern Nevada.
The best thing you can do, is to be bear aware.
"Think like a bear, use bear logic," said Healy. "Do what you can to keep bears wild and to keep them out of trouble."
NDOW will only set a trap if a bear continues to be a problem. Then, they do everything they can to capture it and bring it back into the wild. If you do see a bear on your property, call NDOW at (775)-688-1500.