RENO, NV - Nevada wildlife officials plan to release into the wild three black bears caught overnight in west Reno. A female and two cubs were caught by a Nevada Department of Wildlife game warden Sunday night/Monday morning. The bears were caught in the Juniper Ridge area off of Mayberry Drive.
NDOW spokesman Chris Healy says the female was caught in a trap late Sunday night. A report of two cubs near the trap prompted NDOW game warden Randy Lusetti to respond to the area, where one of the cubs was shot with a tranquilizer dart. The other cub eluded the warden, but was finally caught early Monday morning when a second trap was placed near the spot where the female was caught and the first cub tranquilized.
The bears will be processed early Monday afternoon and will be released into the mountains above Reno sometime Tuesday. Processing of bears include the affixing of ear tags, tattooing of lower lips, placement of identifying microchips and the possibility of placing a satellite collar on the female.
Healy says west Reno has been a “hotspot” for bears since early October, as area fruit trees ripen and bears hone in on “easy meals” as they prepare for winter. With this latest capture, five bears (three adults and two cubs) have been captured in west Reno since Sunday, October 20. Three bears were captured this past week in Carson City on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.
All those bears plus the three caught in west Reno have been or will be released back into the wild.
Bears are still in the physiological state of hyperphagia where their in-take of food can increase from 3,000 calories a day to as many as 25,000 calories per day. “Their one and only job is eating this time of year and they are very good at it,” says wildlife spokesman Carl Lackey. Sierra Nevada black bears usually go into hibernation between Thanksgiving and Christmas as food sources become harder to find.
People needing to report nuisance bear activity can call the NDOW’s Bear Hotline telephone number at (775) 688-BEAR (2327). For information on living with bears, go to www.ndow.org and find the ”Bear Logic” page on the web.