RIP Jasper: Mother Bear Near Lake Tahoe Accidentally Shot Dead by Washoe County Deputy
A bear, who was accidentally shot by a Washoe County Deputy, has died. In a statement, the sheriff's office stated it got a report of bears near homes in the area at about 10:45 a.m. May 6, 2017.
"This group of bears had been previously identified as food aggressive and deputies have had numerous encounters with this group in recent weeks," the sheriff's office said.
The office said that they tried all efforts to save the bear but they failed, adding that the Nevada Department of Wildlife arrived about noon.
According to KTVN, the deputy was trying to drive the bear and his three cubs away from the homes in Inclined Village. However, he accidentally fired a live round instead of a rubber bullet.
Speaking to the local news outfit, Daniel Bales, range master with the Sheriff's Office, said that every shotgun round has a different color, depending on what it is. He added that deputies are trained to recognize the differences between them.
Sheriff Chuck Allen, meanwhile, lamented on the human error and poor judgment that had killed an animal's life.
"Clearly when the shotgun was reloaded with the rubber rounds, they did not get loaded in the correct manner and the live rounds or the slugs were inserted into the magazine," says Allen.
As per Kolo TV, Incline Village residents claim that the bear's death is heartbreaking, especially because the village adored her.The villagers had named the bear "Jasper" and there is a book about her.
"I have personally chased bears even as early as this morning without having to use ammunition or without having to use any kind of force," said Bill Ferrall, Bear League volunteer
More than 7,000 people have signed a petition demanding an investigation to explain the bear's unnecessary death. The petition also criticizes Nevada law enforcement and wildlife officers for their actions regarding bears.
Meanwhile, a Nevada Department of Wildlife biologist is suing a Lake Tahoe bear advocacy group, Bear League for claims which "have damaged his reputation and caused him emotional distress."