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Bear’s euthanasia prompts death threats for Tahoe couple

INCLINE VILLAGE — A Lake Tahoe couple filed a police report saying they received numerous death threats and harassing messages after reporting problems with a black bear that was captured and euthanized by Nevada wildlife officials.

Richard and Adrienne Evans of Incline Village filed the report with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, the same day the bear was killed.

The couple said phone threats started coming Wednesday night after wildlife officials installed a trap outside their home.

The two said the bear had attempted to break into Adrienne Evans’ car twice in recent weeks and succeeded Tuesday night, causing extensive damage to its interior. She denied having food inside as alleged by critics.

The bear also had walked into an enclosed entryway at the couple’s upstairs condominium on several occasions, they said.

“We did the right thing (by contacting wildlife officials). I love bears. I really do,” Adrienne Evans, a teacher at Carson High School in Carson City, told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

“People have been giving me death threats … (Some said), ‘You’ll be struck dead (and) if that bears dies you will have to leave Incline.’ All these people called and threatened me, and that’s definitely inappropriate,” she added.

Nevada Department of Wildlife spokesman Chris Healy said the 263-pound male bear was euthanized because it posed a threat to public safety. The animal had been captured and released back into the wild earlier this year, he added.

“The bear was so used to people it was becoming dangerous,” Healy told the Gazette-Journal. “This was unfortunately an example of a bear that had to be euthanized.”

Ann Bryant, founder of the Tahoe-based Bear League, said members of her citizens group are urged to be polite and not to break any laws, but opinions are intense over the bear issue.

“Emotions are going to be high as long as they are killing bears,” she said.

It was the fifth bear killed by the Department of Wildlife this year over public safety concerns.

The bear had been sleeping in a nearby culvert and was being fed nightly by a neighbor, Adrienne Evans said, adding she has photos documenting the activity.

Feeding wildlife is illegal, Healy said, and the Department of Wildlife intends to issue a written warning to the individual. Repeated violations could lead to fines.

About two months ago, a trap set outside an Incline Village home after a bear had entered it prompted an around-the-clock vigil by bear advocates trying to prevent any bear from being caught.

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