NEVADA – If you were scrolling social media this weekend, you may have seen some bear sightings in our regions as they prepare for winter.
If you were at the Genoa Candy Dance this weekend, you may have spotted a bear up a tree getting a view of the crafts and festivities.
The Bear League says sightings like those will only get more common as the weather gets colder and our region’s black bears prepare to den for the winter.
“All they think about is food,” said Executive Director Ann Bryant of the Tahoe Bear League. “And if they take a little nap, they dream about food.”
That search for food often leads them closer to humans.
The Tahoe Basin has seen a rash of bears breaking into cars for snacks, and getting stuck.
“What happens sometimes is that the door will slam shut on them,” Bryant said. “Then they’re a trap door because they don’t know how to open the doors from the inside, and they’re in panic mode. So then they’re going to wreck everything inside the car to get out.”
Just as important as locking your car, Bryant says now is the time to bear-proof your home. Secure everything that a bear will use as a food source, like trash cans and fruit trees.
“Right now bird feeders are known in Tahoe especially as bear feeders,” Bryant said.
If you don’t want a furry tenant that doesn’t pay rent, Bryant says make sure your crawl space is closed up.
Bryant says year over year, the League sees an increase in bears taking up residence underneath people’s homes.
“In the process of remodeling, they’ll bump into the water lines, the heat duct work, sometimes gas lines,” Bryant says. “And they’ll cause a lot of damage.”
Bryant says it is possible to live comfortably in bear country. Residents just have to learn faster than the bears.
Here are some tips for bear-proofing your home:
- Lock your car doors and windows.
- Secure your trash cans.
- Remove bird feeders.
- Pick up fallen fruit from trees.
- Close up your crawl space.
- Inspect your home for any other openings that bears could get into.
If you see a bear, do not approach it. Make noise to scare it away. If the bear does not leave, call the Nevada Department of Wildlife at 775-688-BEAR (2327).
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