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Bear released in wild returns to Tahoe ski resort

RENO — A bear that apparently became too accustomed to the good life at a ski resort at Lake Tahoe is headed for an animal sanctuary or zoo after wildlife officials decided he has become too domesticated to be returned to the wild.

The year-old black bear was captured in March after he skirted past a busy ski lift at the Heavenly Mountain Resort at Stateline on the California-Nevada line.

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Veterinarians at the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care Center nursed him back to health. California wildlife officials released him last week in the Sierra near Monitor Pass, about 25 miles south of the lake. But he made it back to Tahoe within a matter of days and started approaching people again.

‘‘It’s the exact same bear,’’ Nevada Department of Wildlife spokesman Chris Healy said Tuesday.

‘‘Our plan originally was to take him out in the mountains again over in the Wellington area [50 miles southeast of Tahoe], but it’s just so acclimated to humans as a source of food and obviously has honed in on this area,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s a disaster for this magnificent animal,’’ Healy said. ‘‘Wild animals should not be in cages their whole life. It’s a real indictment of the way garbage is handled, or not handled.’’

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