NEVADA – Northern Nevada’s black bears are emerging from their winter slumber despite the cold temperatures and winter weather conditions. The Nevada Department of Wildlife has received its first bear-related calls this year, including a cluster of tipped trash bins in the neighborhoods off Zolezzi Lane in southwest Reno. According to public information officer Ashley Sanchez, 90% of the calls received from the public reporting bear activity are trash-related. Kassie Quackenbush, rehabilitation manager at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, said the bears would become more determined in their search for food as the weather warms up and their metabolisms increase.
Sanchez emphasized the importance of homeowners securing their trash bins and taking into consideration anything that bears might consider a food source. Property owners with fruit trees should also consider putting up electric fencing, she added. Bringing in bird feeders at night or even removing them altogether and scattering the seeds on the ground can help prevent bear encounters.
Bears are opportunistic, and failing to secure homes and property can result in property damage that can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Quackenbush noted that bears are strong enough to rip through garage doors and peel off car doors. Moreover, bears can lose their wildness when they get too comfortable around humans. She urged residents to keep trash and food to themselves to help keep bears wild.
Residents in Washoe County, Douglas County, and Carson City can ask their waste management services for animal-resistant trash bins to help mitigate the risk of bear encounters. Incline Village residents can call (775) 831-2971, while Reno and Sparks residents can call (775) 329-8822. Carson City residents can call (775) 343-7596, and Douglas Disposal and Recycling Service residents can call (775) 782-5713 x 1.
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