Home City park Bear Activity Increases In Carson City Area Due To Drought And Fires, Says NDOW | News from Carson City, Nevada

Bear Activity Increases In Carson City Area Due To Drought And Fires, Says NDOW | News from Carson City, Nevada


According to the Nevada Department of Wildlife, hungry bears looking to fatten up before winter have roamed Carson City and surrounding valleys in greater numbers this season, in part due to drought and nearby wildfires.

The annual pilgrimage in search of 25,000 calories a day before winter arrives has bears rummaging in trash cans and dumpsters, invading gardens and climbing fruit trees. This is nothing new.

What’s unusual this year is that the combination of drought and wildfires have brought more bears down from the highlands in search of food, NDOW spokeswoman Ashley Sanchez said. This year, with the drought, the natural food sources in the Sierra are much weaker, so bears naturally go to where the food sources are.

“There isn’t a lot of water in the backcountry. Our valleys instead provide tons of food, garbage and well-maintained trees, so we see the bears adapting as they descend bigger. number in urban areas, ”she said. “Bears see our valleys as having sustainable food sources, so we’re seeing an increase in bear activity. We’re definitely getting a lot more calls.”

There have been several bear sightings in the Carson City area, along city roads, streets, and in parks. Early Wednesday morning, a bear was struck by a vehicle and died on the I-580 freeway. Last month, a bear was sighted along the I-580 freeway, safely finding a nearby bike path, far from the freeway.

Also last month, Lauren Zentner, a Carson City Park ranger, found herself next to another looking for food in Fuji Park.

“Like our deer herds, bears have been spotted on city streets, sometimes in congested areas,” Sanchez said. “We see wild animals crossing streets and in areas where we don’t usually see them, especially in Carson City and Douglas County,” Sanchez said.

Residents of Bear Country are urged to diligently manage food, garbage, and other attractants around the home and yard to avoid attracting bears. NDOW recognizes that bears rummaging through trash or eating apples in backyards can be seen as a concern and possibly frightening.

By allowing a bear to access your trash even once, you reward this behavior and it will revisit your home. Bears can become accustomed to humans and conditioned to human food, which often causes them to come into conflict with humans.

Here are the things to know:
– Bears have a sense of smell seven times stronger than a bloodhound and eyesight as good as that of a human

– Any smell, especially that of smelly foods like fish or other meats, can attract a bear to your home and garden

– Completely remove bird feeders until later in the year

– Quickly remove fallen fruit from the ground

– Use bear-resistant trash cans and wait until collection day to drop off the trash

– Keep pet food indoors

– Do not leave food or other scented items in your car

In the rare event that a bear breaks into your home, move to a safe location and contact local authorities. Wildlife experts warn of direct confrontation with the bear or blocking the bear’s escape route.

Whether you are living or playing in bear country, you need to know how to behave when encountering bears. Keep in mind that bears exhibit stressful behaviors that indicate their anxiety and preference for avoiding conflict with you. These aren’t necessarily signs of an aggressive bear, according to NDOW.

– Moaning and woofing avoiding direct eye contact with you.

– Chattering teeth and chattering jaws.

– Stomping on their front legs and false charges that stop before they come in contact with you.

In most cases, these behaviors are the bear’s way of telling you that you are too close. Back out and exit the area. Although black bears very rarely attack humans, these attacks have increased over the past 20 to 30 years. Knowing how to behave during a meeting will contribute to your safety and that of those close to you. NDOW advises:

– Never approach or feed a bear. Respect them by keeping your distance and observing them from a safe place.

– Give a bear plenty of room to pass and it usually will.

– Closely supervise children when they are outside and teach them what to do if they see a bear.

– Tell them to stay together, get away from the bear and find an adult.

– If a bear approaches you, speak in a loud and firm voice “run away from the bear!” »Raise your arms to make yourself appear taller and step back to a safe place. You can’t outrun a black bear because it is capable of accelerating up to 35 miles per hour.

– In the rare case of a bear attack, people managed to drive the bear away by hitting it with large sticks, stones and punching it in the nose.

NDOW encourages people to wear bear spray and know how to use it. NDOW does not endorse any product, but its bear biologist and game wardens use Counter Assault for close encounters with bears.

NDOW also has a BEAR hotline at 775-688-BEAR wired directly to NDOW’s dispatch center in Reno. Normal hours of operation are 6:00 am to 11:00 pm The helpline is for those facing conflict with bears after all human attractants have been removed.

Carson City Senior Ranger John Costello encourages the public to stay bear watchful, practice trail-free methods, and if you come across a bear use the rule of thumb which is to say if you can lift your thumb and still see the animal, you are too close.