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Killed! Second Bear in a Week Euthanized in Nevada

Aug 29, 2015 02:06 PM EDT

In Nevada, a young female bear was recently captured and then euthanized in the interest of public safety, according to the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW). This marks the second Nevada bear killing in just a week - an unprecedented record that hints how local bear populations may be learning some bad habits.

Specifically, bears from younger generations could be learning to rely on garbage, campsite, and house raids as a primary source of food. That's at least the worry of Chris Healy, a public information officer with the NDOW.

This latest kill, for instance, occurred after the adolescent bear broke into two separate houses in the Kingsbury area in search of food just last Friday (Aug 28). Three days earlier, a 9-year-old male bear was seen raiding dumpsters in plain sight of humans in Incline Village. It was likewise captured and put down.

"We hate having to do this but a bear entering a house is a dangerous bear and the Nevada Department of Wildlife is obligated to manage the situation," Healy stated in a prepared statement. "We have an obligation to public safety that we do not take lightly. People have called and asked us to move the bear but we cannot move a bear that we know to be dangerous, that just would not be prudent."

In other words, because both offenders were young bears, they are more likely to make a habit of returning to residential areas in search of food. That makes relocating them simply too risky.

Healy added in a comment for the Tahoe Daily Tribune that the NDOW understands how these killings can upset locals. Five bear in all have been killed in Nevada state since Jan. However, he noted that it is the public's responsibility to ensure these actions don't need to be taken in the first place. (Scroll to read on...)

"If you're going to live in bear country, you have a special obligation in helping to solve a problem that is as emotional as this," he told the Tribune. "In the long run, we would like to see people energies into properly manage garbage."

Ironically, Nevada recently declared that July is "Bear Logic Month," after the governor acknowledged that the state has seen "a recent increase in human-bear conflicts due to an increase in people living near bear habitats, dry- climate conditions and bear access to... garbage."

According to the NDOW, a stunning 95 percent of all reported human-bear conflicts (be it at a home, campsite, or even on a highway) were associated with trash.

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

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