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Motorists reminded to be cautious of wildlife


Image: U.S. Forest Service.

With the ending of daylight savings time, the Nevada Department of Wildlife is asking people to be more diligent when driving, particularly at dawn and dusk when animals are most active.

As dusk comes earlier, more accidents can occur during early evening commutes.

NDOW reminds motorists to be alert and to make sure they’re following posted speed limits and to mind animal crossing signs.

“Slow down if you see any animals on the side of the road,” a statement from NDOW on Tuesday said. “If you see one, there are likely more.”

“Give warning to other drivers and the animals. Honk your horn, slow down, flash headlights to give warning.”

Additionally, with fall in full swing, bears have entered “hyperphagia.” This refers to a period before hibernation of excessive eating and drinking to fatten up.

Image: Bear proof trash can screen
grab from Toter video on Youtube.com.

The best way to bear-proof one’s property is to secure trash. Putting garbage out the morning of pickup ensures bears won’t have access to it overnight, according to NDOW.

Residents of Washoe County can request a bear-resistant container from Waste Management by calling 775-329-8822.

Other tips to deter bears:

  • Bring in bird feeders between dusk and dawn. Another option is to spread the seed over a broad area on the ground where birds can easily pick at it, although wild birds don’t need human assistance for food. Bears have a more difficult time feeding on individual seeds.
  • Harvest fruit from trees. Those who are elderly or disabled in the Reno area can contact the Reno Gleaning Project, which will pick fruit and donate it to a food pantry or soup kitchen. Details: https://renogleaningproject.org
  • Use electric fencing to encircle homes and/or trees, along with anything one wants to keep bears away from.
  • If a bear is present in one’s neighborhood, try to scare it away by banging pots and pans together.

For more information, visit http://www.ndow.org/Nevada_Wildlife/Bear_Logic/.

Carla O'Day
Carla O'Day
Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.