Saturday, May 18, 2013
Anchorage Bears Wide Awake On The Hillside
Today, skiers reported fresh bear tracks, droppings and traces of blood in the snow on the Bicentennial Park trail system
Despite the cold temperatures and more than a few inches of snow on the ground, some Anchorage bears have yet to settle down for the winter.
Last week, Arnie Hinden saw it for himself.
A little after midnight Monday night, Hinden heard a loud noise in his driveway and looked out his bedroom window to see a bear trying, unsuccessfully, to open the bear-proof garbage can he kept in front of his garage.
“I keep it out in the wintertime because I thought the bears would hibernate,” Hinden said. “Well, November 21, obviously, it wasn't."
Hinden snapped several pictures of the prints the bear left in the snow, some of them nearly a foot in length.
After tracing the prints back into the woods behind his South Anchorage home, Hinden said he emailed the photos to the 23 other families in his neighborhood. Several of them had seen the same thing.
"Our neighbor in back who traced the paw prints to here had two sets of paw prints at her house,” Hinden said Sunday, standing in the snow behind his house and gesturing into the woods behind it. “Two different sets."
Skiers at Hillside’s Bicentennial Park have also reported seeing bear tracks in the snow for the past several weeks, but Hinden said he’s unsure why the animals would forgo or delay their traditional hibernation.
"Perhaps it was sick, I don't know,” Hinden said of his Monday-night visitor. “But it was huge. I don't know the weight, I don't know much about bears, but it was a huge animal."
Today, skiers reported fresh bear tracks, droppings and traces of blood in the snow on the park's trail system, and said it serves as a renewed reminder: The bears are still awake.