updated 8/8/2006 5:36:16 PM ET 2006-08-08T21:36:16

A bear with better taste than his or her cousins dined last week on salmon, tri-tip and cherry ice cream — all in the deserted food court at the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival at Sand Harbor.

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The choices of surf and turf — and the Bard — were more discriminating than those of the bear that settled last month for cold pizza and an even colder beer it found in a convertible near the south shore casino area.

The foray also was more successful than that of the bear that wandered into a delivery area last week at MontBleu Casino Resort & Spa on the south shore but left empty-pawed.

Nevada Department of Wildlife biologist Carl Lackey was called to the scene and left one of his bear traps but wasn't real optimistic.

"I put old doughnuts in the trap, and he just seems to walk by it and head for the refrigerators in the food court," Lackey said. "I mean, why eat day-old doughnuts when you can get salmon?"

Lackey said that while the food vendors have locks on the coolers, "They're just bike locks and the bears are strong enough to just flick them off."

Catherine Atack, director of the annual festival, said that having a bear come for dinner is a first.

"Nothing like this has happened before and this year, all four of our food vendors have been hit," Atack said. "We even had one bear appear during the show, and the audience was told to stay seated until he was chased away."

And stale doughnuts weren't the only treat the finicky bear snubbed.

"He broke into one of the refrigerators where there was cherry ice cream and vanilla," Atack said. "He ate the cherry and never touched the vanilla."

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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