A third child bear has been euthanized for bad behavior following its mother’s lead who has also been recorded with misbehavior in the past.
Nevada Department of Wildlife officials were forced to euthanize a young problem bear at the lake. He is the third offspring killed from the same litter born to the mama bear known by her tag number, Green 108. She is a notorious 19-year-old female bear at Lake Tahoe.
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She has a rap sheet a mile long of misbehavior around her habitat. She has become a poster child of sorts for the kind of generational cycle that experts say her young will be hard pressed to break as long as humans continue to leave garbage in their reach.
Green 108 was first captured at Lake Tahoe in 2004, after which wildlife experts tagged the bear and released back into the wild. Since then, the bear has been caught four more times with the most recent being in July 2012.
Wildlife biologist Carl Lackey of the Nevada wildlife department described the parent bear as a chronic and nuisance kind of animal. He expressed that Green 108 was just kind of a chronic, nuisance-type bear. She’s always been getting into trash, always been in the same area.
We’ve captured several litters of hers. We’ve captured her several times. Lackey said that some of the bears that have been captured at Lake Tahoe several times but were later released into the wild no longer approached traps anymore. He told CBS that the bears would send their young into the trap or into homes to retrieve food.
Lackey also co-authored a 2008 study led by S.W. Breck and C.L. Williams at the USDA’s National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins, Colorado. The study was published in the Journal of Mammalogy about the role of genetics in bear conflict behavior. The researchers concluded in the study that that genetics alone could not explain a nuisance behavior in black bears,
Another study led by the National Park Service was conducted in 1989. In this study, researchers first suggested that problems with Yellowstone’s grizzly bears were a function of behavior passed from mother to offspring and successive generations.
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It was not however enough to determine whether it was learned or inherited. Another 2008 study by Rachel Mazur and Victoria Seher, researchers at Yosemite’s Division of Resources Management, documented bears “actively tutoring” their cubs to find food in human environments. They concluded that food-conditioned foraging is a skill passed from older bears to the young.