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Bears starting to wake up, biologists say

By Lauren Maxwell 6:08 PM April 16, 2014

Time for Anchorage residents to get a handle on their garbage

ANCHORAGE –

Wildlife comes with the territory when you live in Alaska.

Now that spring is here, it’s time to think about the bears that are waking up all around us.

State Department of Fish and Game biologist Dave Battle says they are beginning to get reports of bears in the Anchorage area. That means it’s particularly important for residents to get a handle on their garbage, he said, so they don’t invite hungry bears into the neighborhood.

“They need to keep trash away from bears,” Battle said. “Whether that means keeping it in a garage or a bear-resistant roll cart. Bears are creatures of habit and bad habits are hard to break. Once a bear gets in the habit of coming in and eating out of your trash, that is going to be a hard habit to break.”

Battle said it only takes one person who isn’t following the rules to attract bears into a neighborhood and then everyone suffers.

A ticket for people who attract bears with their garbage or other smelly items could run as high as $310, he said. But the price for the bears could be their lives if they end up getting put down.

Battle said Alaska Waste offers bear-resistant garbage cans for just a few extra dollars a month. Depending where you live in town, the expense may be well worth it.

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