Anchorage couple creates wildlife app to help others enjoy nature more safely

Wildlife activity is set to increase in the spring, and a new app is on the market to help Alaskans increase their awareness and prepare for an outdoor summer.
Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 6:50 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Wildlife activity is set to increase as the snow starts to melt, and a new app is on the market to help Alaskans increase their awareness and prepare for an outdoor summer. The app is called Repawts and was created by an Anchorage couple to help increase wildlife safety.

Scott Keenan and his wife Ashlie moved to Anchorage from Sydney, Australia four years ago, and found there were no other apps to help them safely navigate around the new types of wildlife they started to encounter in Alaska. Repawts can help people share important information about wildlife sightings and receive safety alert notifications for anyone hitting the hiking trails, campsites and fishing spots around Alaska.

Keenan said he and his wife did find that kind of information is posted on various Alaska Facebook groups and other social media platforms, but that it was still difficult to find what they needed to know.

“It was just really hard to kind of find what you were looking for and to see it all on a map, and to get the information that was relevant to her (Ashlie), so we just kind of thought about it and thought, well maybe there should be something out there like it,” Scott Keenan said. “Maybe there’s other people feeling the same kind of anxieties or just looking for the same kind of information.”

What Scott and Ashlie Keenan want is for the app to be the place to check for recent wildlife activity or closures before going out for a hike, dog walk, bike ride or taking the kids to the park. The new app uses crowd-sourced wildlife sighting information and makes it so the information to be posted and shared.

Users can discover recent nearby sightings and also receive alert notifications for wildlife activity in their neighborhood. It can help residents and visitors be aware of potentially hazardous wildlife such as moose, bears, and lynx. Repawts is the first app created by the Keenans.

It is free to download and use and can be used outside of Alaska as well. It can found in the app store on any phone and is compatible with both IOS and Android.

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