Severed bear foot mistaken for human at Nevada County transfer station |

Severed bear foot mistaken for human at Nevada County transfer station

Reports of a severed human foot at the Nevada County transfer station on Halloween turned out to be mistaken, but only after part of the refuse drop-off site halted operations for approximately 90 minutes, according to Nevada County officials.

“When I got the call, I thought, ‘On Halloween? No way,’” said Steve Castleberry, Nevada County’s director of Public Works.

The severed foot was determined to belong to a bear, not a human, according to the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office.

“You may ask, ‘How could anybody mistake a bear’s foot for a human foot?’ It looked exactly like an old lady’s foot. It wasn’t hairy like a bear’s foot would be,” Castleberry said. “But it fooled some of our people and a couple of the sheriff’s people.”

At approximately 2 p.m., the foot was spotted on the sorting floor — where trucks back up to dump refuse — at the McCourtney Road Transfer Station, Castleberry said. The sorting floor was closed down while the sheriff’s office, and, subsequently, department of wildlife officials, responded to examine the severed body part.

That portion of the transfer station was closed during the investigation, during which time incoming refuse was diverted to another area, Castleberry said.

“The facility wasn’t closed, we just weren’t dumping on the sorting floor,” he said. “So no customers were turned away.”

Finding severed animal remains is not unheard of at the transfer station, Castleberry said, just not on Halloween.

The McCourtney Road Transfer Station is located at 14741 Wolf Mountain Road.

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email or call 530-477-4236.

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