It’s a conflict that could’ve been avoided with public awareness and participation, but there are more bear conflicts in Nevada due to trash increase, which hints at the recklessness of inhabitants near Lake Tahoe, as well as tourists.
Dangerous sightings of bears, including their dumpster diving and breaking into people’s homes, have led to a record of two specimens being killed within one week, and more are to come if proper measures aren’t taken.
The latest bear fatality was an 18-month old female, sighted and trapped around Kingsbury after breaking into two different houses in search for food. Not too long ago, a 9-year old male black bear was also caught and unfortunately euthanized after carelessly raiding dumpsters right in the sight of humans in Incline Village.
It’s a regretful measure taken for public safety, according to Chris Healy of the Nevada Department of Wildlife. Some citizens brought up the option of simply tranquilizing and relocating the bears farther away from civilization, but due to their young age, it was apparent that the habit would still have them return to nearby towns.
Bears have become dependent on trash as food source, and rummaging through dumpsters more nonchalantly than it’s safe. According to Healy, it would’ve been imprudent to allow animals, who have already shown themselves dangerously comfortable on raiding towns, alive. While the measure is truly unfortunate, it’s necessary for public safety.
The population of ‘bear towns’ can also do their part in avoiding the problem. A study last month, named “Bear Logic Month”, has underlined the issue that conflicts between humans and bears are 95% of the time caused by the overflowing of trash bins and garbage that provide easy food for nearby animals.
Summer poses as the most perilous season, due to the increase in numbers of campers, who leave discarded wrappers and other leftovers littered across the ground around Lake Tahoe. After the 4th of July celebrations, for example, a number of 300 volunteers made an incredible effort and picked up 1,600 pounds of trash and over 4,000 butts of cigarettes. However, they could only do so much.
The volunteers only managed to cover 6% of Lake Tahoe’s shores, and there were many bins overflowing around its beaches. Both officials and citizens are requested that they take measures when it comes disposing garbage and emptying overflowing dumpsters in order for their bear problem to be alleviated.
There have been traps set up, but locals have purposefully activated them with sticks, as they view the practice inhumane. However, it’s their responsibility as well to prevent the growing issue.
Image source: motherjones.com