Hooked on garbage, Nevada bears quit hibernation

Nevada Department of Wildlife officials release a bear captured in August this year.

A black bear stopped skiers in their tracks and made headlines last week when it ran across a busy ski slope near Lake Tahoe. January is usually peak hibernation season, but Nevada wildlife officials say many bears have been skipping or delaying their months-long snoozes in favor of loitering near houses and businesses to rifle through trash bins. The reason for the change in behavior: year on year of dry winters and an abundance of garbage in easy reach.

“Over the years during the light winters, some bears will sleep five or six days out of the week and wake up on garbage days when they know there will be garbage available,” Chris Healy, spokesperson for the Nevada Department of Wildlife, told NBC News.

Last year was a dry year, and the NDOW responded to 97 bear calls. In 2009, a good year for snow, the rangers were only called out for about 40 bears.

Read the full story here.

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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at www.amooseinamapletree.com. She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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