Bear Report |

Bear Report

The temperatures have dropped and people arent the only ones who have noticed the change. Bear appetites are triggered into overload as they sense the approach of winter. At this time, it is typical for a bear to forage for food 20 hours each day, and to take in approximately 20,000 calories. Please be extra careful around your property so the bears do not feel comfortable enough to think they can forage in our neighborhoods. Once they come close to where people live they soon learn to open doors and break windows and raid kitchens. No one appreciates this, except the bears.Bear hunting season is upon us and the Department of Fish & Game has notified the BEAR League that they are sending hunters into areas where there is known bear activity. Hunters comment that they are finding it very difficult to locate, track and kill bears in the backcountry. Several have stated that all the bears around the basin appear to be in and around the neighborhoods where they are finding easy access to inappropriate food sources. Ethical hunters do not consider this sportsmanlike and are refusing to shoot neighborhood bears.As of the printing of this report a record number of bears have been hit and killed on Tahoes roadways. The number now stands at 69. Our previous record for an entire year was 19 in 2005.

A mother bear was struck and killed in Truckee and her young orphan cub is now left to fend for himself. According to the policy of the Department of Fish & Game, bear cubs orphaned after Sept. 1 are no longer allowed to be rescued but are instead considered adults. These young cubs are still nursing until October or November and do not know how to find natural foods so their chances for survival are very slim. The BEAR League is receiving numerous calls regarding orphaned cubs. The cubs are not yet mature enough to know they should avoid humans and so will often approach homes or people in order to find someone who will take the place of their missing mother. This is not a sign of aggression; it is a sign of a hungry, motherless being asking for help. A DFG trap was set in Kings Beach after a summer of unsecured garbage lured bears into the area. It appears a mother bear was killed and her orphan cub is now left alone. When traps are set, whatever bear goes in is killed and it very often is not the bear who might have been causing problems. Indiscriminate killing of bears is only complicating problems in the Tahoe and Truckee areas.A trap was set in Ward Creek and so far it has not been determined if a mother bear was captured and killed but concerned residents are watching for her cubs and will notify the BEAR League if they are seen alone.Two more break-ins have been reported in Ward Canyon. It is unknown which bear or bears are responsible as no one witnessed anything until after the bears had left the scene. This neighborhood has been the most vulnerable all summer and now permanent residents are encouraged to help watch their neighbors vacant cabins. Bears will go into empty houses if they smell residual food odors. Remember, they can smell 50 miles away, they think a scented candle might be food, and can detect food cooked several months past. Empty homes are better protected if several bowls of regular-scented Pinesol are left on the counters and inside each and every window and door. There is no fool-proof method for deterring bears but data has been kept on what is working and the BEAR League is here to help.Activity is again increasing in Alpine Meadows. It is important to try and think like a bear and look around the house for anything that might possibly attract their keen sense of smell. The writer of this report wishes to thank everyone in our community for the outpouring of compassion and sympathy after the loss of Marvin the Porcupine, my beloved and dearest friend. As I write, I am sitting beside his grave, adorned with abundant bouquets of beautiful flowers sent by his many friends, and I miss him very, very much. The BEAR League can be reached by calling 525-PAWS (7297) or by e-mailing

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