ADF&G concerned about brown bears still awake in Anchorage neighborhoods

A brown bear leaves its print in an  Anchorage neighborhood
A brown bear leaves its print in an Anchorage neighborhood(Sherri Lachance)
Published: Nov. 17, 2020 at 7:11 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is on the lookout for a pair of brown bears that have been spotted in Anchorage neighborhoods from Rabbit Creek to Ocean View. Biologist Dave Battle said the pair is most likely a sow and her young adult cub. When they find them, they plan to put them down.

“Brown bears will defend food sources from humans,” said Battle. “That’s why whenever we have a brown bear in trash, we usually have to kill them.”

Battle has been looking for the bears for at least the last two weeks, mostly at night or in the early morning. On Monday, he flew in a trooper helicopter but failed to spot them, only to learn later someone had reported seeing the pair cross the Seward Highway and head for Potter Marsh earlier in the day.

In Anchorage, people are required to secure their trash year-round and keep it contained until collection day. But Battle said some people are simply not. Battle said the bears should be hibernating, but they aren’t because they are finding food in people’s trash. Most people in the area are taking precautions and following the rules, but Battle said the ones who are not are putting their neighbors at risk.

“Certain residents are apparently allowing them to get into the garbage, they know the bears are there, they know the bears have been in their garbage and they are not doing anything about it. They are leaving their trash out unsecured in non-bear resistant cans," Battle said.

ADF&G is collecting evidence for wildlife troopers who can issue citations which Battle would like to see. The fine for negligent feeding of game is $320.

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