NCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. (CBS/AP) — Nevada wildlife officials say they’ve been forced to kill a bear at Lake Tahoe that was posing a growing danger at a state park at Sand Harbor just south of Incline Village.

Nevada Department of Wildlife spokesman Chris Healy says the two-year-old black bear entered the parking area at Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park Thursday morning and raided a cooler the back of a Jeep with an open top. He says initial efforts to scare the bear away failed until a park ranger shot the bear with non-lethal rounds.

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The 150-pound bear finally left the area, but returned within an hour, walking near the visitor’s center for another two hours before additional efforts to scare it off succeeded.

“It is a tough situation,” Healy told the Reno Gazette-Journal. “Outwardly it looked healthy but the behavior was troubling.”

Healy noted the bear was active during the middle of the day and wouldn’t leave even after multiple attempts to scare it off. “It just kind of stood there and laconically looking at people trying to haze it, that wasn’t good,” Healy said. “The behavior of the bear was not normal.”

Wildlife officials set a trap for the bear, captured it early Friday and euthanized it by lethal injection Friday evening.

Healy told the Gazette-Journal that allowing the bear to return would be, “hastening the day you will have a potential dangerous encounter.”

Wildlife officials remind visitors to secure their food and trash so as not to draw bears into campgrounds or neighborhoods.

 

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife provides the following tips for people living in or visiting bear country:

FOR CAMPERS AND HIKERS:

Use bear-proof trash cans whenever possible or store your garbage in a secure location with your food.

Store anything smelly including food, pet food and toiletries in bear-proof containers or in an airtight container in the trunk of your vehicle.

Clean dishes and store food and garbage immediately after meals.

Clean your barbecue grill after each use.

Never keep food, toiletries or anything with a scent in your tent.

Never intentionally feed bears in order to attract them for viewing.

When hiking make noise to prevent surprising a bear. Clap, sing or talk loudly.

Travel in a group if possible.

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Pay attention to the surroundings and watch for bear signs, such as tracks or claw or bite marks on trees.

Keep dogs on a leash.

If you see a bear, do not approach it. Make sure it has an escape route.

If you encounter a bear in the wild, back away slowly. Do not run. Raise your arms to look larger and speak in a calm, loud voice. Do not turn your back.

FOR RESIDENTS, VISITORS AND SECOND HOMEOWNERS:

Purchase and properly use a bear-proof garbage container.

Wait to put trash out until the morning of collection day.

Don’t leave trash, groceries or animal feed in your car.

Keep garbage cans clean and deodorize them with bleach or ammonia.

Keep barbecue grills clean and stored in a garage or shed when not in use.

Avoid using birdfeeders.

Don’t leave any scented products outside, including non-food items like suntan lotion and candles.

Keep doors and windows closed and locked.

Consider installing motion-detector alarms and/or electric fencing.

Keep livestock in secure enclosures.

Harvest fruit off trees as soon as it is ripe, and promptly collect fruit that falls.

Securely block access to potential hibernation sites such as crawl spaces under decks and buildings.

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