Bear sightings in Mineral County have become more frequent after conditions in the outlying areas become scarce for the large mammals.
Residents around the 100 – 200 blocks of B Street have noticed they have a nightly visitor who has yet to show their face during the day time.
For over a month now, bear scat has been found in yards and on the roadways in the neighborhood. Bear sightings in residential areas are not uncommon in the late summer/early fall when fruit trees and gardens begin to lure the bears to town, where the struggle to find food is not as hard as it would be if the animal stayed in the mountains.
Once in town, the bears are tempted by bird feeders, garbage, pet food, barbecue grills and unsanitary conditions that some may take for granted. These items all become a plethora of options for the ever-hungry animals who are stocking up for hibernation. Occasionally, the bear can also eat a family pet.
In order to protect yourself, animals and property for curious visitors, the Nevada Department of Wildlife states that even though this may be a nuisance, it is the responsibility of the property owner to remove or make the attractants inaccessible to the bear so that further actions are not taken by NDOW.
In most cases, this will help the bear from returning, but like the resident B Street bear, which has become accustomed to the smorgasbord of goodies, it is difficult to keep the animal away. Once spotted, NDOW will be informed and the bear will be relocated. Other techniques such as trapping, shooting with rubber bullets, pepper spray and trained dogs will help to ‘educate’ the animals to stay away from residential areas.
Bears are most active from March to December in northern Nevada with activity levels highest in late summer. Because these animals are omnivorous, they eat both plants and animal matter. When berries, grasses and pinenuts become scarce, e feeders will turn to their next favorite meal, human garbage and gardens.
If you see a black bear, contact Mineral County sheriff’s Office at 775-945-2434. Do not approach the animal. To deter them from eating from your garbage cans, Nevada Department of Wildlife suggests cleaning cans with ammonia to clean grease and smells from the container and waiting to put the trash out until the morning of.
Most black bears will not attack a human, but one case has already been reported this year.
Until the animal is spotted in the upper B Street vicinity, residents will be waking up to the gifts left behind by this generous animal.