INCLINE VILLAGE, NV - Controversy remains in an Incline Village neighborhood after a bear was trapped and released. Locals who named the bear Jasper say the mother of 3 cubs was not the intended target. A young male nuisance bear is suspected of breaking into as many as a dozen home in the area. Some locals are worried it could strike again accidentally injuring dogs or children. They are reluctant to ask the Department of Wildlife for help removing it, after seeing bear activists harass their neighbor online and around their home.
The victims worked with NDOW, requesting a trap on their property after the aggressive bear began breaking into homes. Activists following the Bear League and the "Lake Tahoe Wall of Shame" Facebook page attempted to talk the homeowners out of working with the state. They say they believe 57% of bears that are trapped are killed. Wildlife officials say that's simply not true. They say most bears that are captured are subject to aversion training, which includes dogs and loud noises. The goal is to make the bears afraid of humans so they will stay away.
In this case, when activists were unable to talk the homeowners out of using a trap, they turned to social media. "Tahoe Wall of Shame" administrator Mark Smith says the goal of the page is to catch people who don't manage their trash, or that invite bears in to be killed. the homeowners where the trap was set say they had managed their trash, but their home was posted on the site for cooperating with NDOW. Angry followers targeted the family, who say dozens of nasty emails were sent to one of their employers. In addition, they say they feel intimidated by strangers driving by their home.
Concern remains over the bear that has been reportedly breaking into homes. Some residents say they're worried about what can happen if they encounter a bear in their home, but they are afraid to ask for help for fear of retaliation from misguided activists.