NV Wildlife Officials Defend Handling of Bear

A black bear crossing a road
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RENO, Nev. (AP) - Nevada wildlife officials are defending their handling of a black bear that died during an attempt to capture it at Lake Tahoe.

Nevada Department of Wildlife spokesman Chris Healy says his agency received reports that the male yearling was causing traffic problems earlier this month around Incline Village.

Agency biologist Carl Lackey and a game warden then found the bear in a tree on March 9.

Healy told the Reno Gazette-Journal the bear was shot with a tranquilizer with the intent of taking it to a wildlife refuge.

Lackey administered a drug designed to help the bear breathe normally but it stopped breathing and died.

Healy says only a half dozen of roughly 500 bears the agency has tranquilized since the late 1990s have died, and the underweight bear's health problems probably were a factor in the death.