Reports of bears breaking into homes have dropped by about 50 percent during a time when this activity should be increasing. There are theories as to why but theories are unscientific and are usually considered opinions. This is not an opinion report but focuses only on facts so we will leave it at that. Certainly no one should relax their guard but instead all steps must continue to be taken to ‘un-invite’ bears into people territory.
Traditionally bears have been fearful of humans and would retreat into the forest at the sight of one of us. They have now lost that natural distrust and will approach or forage in the daylight hours when we are out and about. We are obligated to let them know we will not allow them to be comfortable on our property. For too long people have stood back while a bear approached their deck or kitchen window, taking pictures or telling him how beautiful he is and now these bears, as smart as they are, believe people to be their friends. We have to convince them otherwise in order to let them know they cannot come into our homes or take a nap under our deck.
No black bear (only species left in California and Nevada) has ever killed a person in all of history so by using common sense and good judgment it is easy to scare them away by yelling aggressively or using a non-lethal projectile. Bears don’t get mad, they leave.
Several complaints have been called in regarding construction workers on the site of a huge new development in According to the reports, workers are leaving lunch scraps in the debris Dumpsters and are hand feeding the bears to see how close they will come. This will obviously create an ‘unbearable’ situation for the people who will be moving into these homes when they are completed and the workers go on to their next job. Construction sites and restaurant Dumpsters remain the most common cause of bear problems for residents.
Another Dumpster at a popular lodge right on the state line in Crystal Bay is left wide open daily and is usually overflowing due to infrequent servicing. This has brought a high number of bears into the surrounding areas and residents are calling to complain and ask for help. A trap had been set with one bear killed a couple of weeks ago and an orphan cub is now wandering the neighborhood alone.
The Department of Fish and Game refused to help or give permission to help a 30-pound orphan cub in (mother hit by car) so he was left on his own and then was also hit and killed by a car. Cubs this small are still nursing and are unable to survive by themselves.
After two years of complaints by homeowners about construction workers leaving trash out in the area, a trap was set by the DFG in hopes of killing bears who have been lured in for the easy meals. Once a bear finds food repeatedly in an area he will return several times looking for more, even though the food source is gone. This is when problems usually begin with bears entering homes.
As was the case all summer, the BEAR League was called upon hundreds of times for assistance and most people were very receptive to the advice given. There were, however, several people who complained that it all sounded like too much trouble and they just want the bears to be taken away. It’s important to keep in mind that the bears are a natural part of this mountain forest and they aren’t going away any more than we are. The best way to cohabitate with them, whether one likes the idea or not, is to follow the advice of experts who have studied living with bears and who are here to help. It’s easier to be responsible if you like the bears and want to keep them out of trouble, but even if you don’t like them it’s just as important to be responsible in order to protect your home and your neighborhood.
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