ANCHORAGE - It’s been a bad year for brown bears in Anchorage.
Wednesday night, Fish and Game was forced to put down a third brown bear.
People who live near John’s Park in Oceanview aren’t used to seeing bears in their neighborhood. It’s one reason why Kevin Sykes was shocked when he awoke to his mother’s screams.
“We woke up at seven o'clock in the morning, it was the scariest part," said Sykes. “My mom was on the back steps freaking out, just screaming and screaming.”
When Sykes saw what all the commotion was about, he was scared too. A large brown bear was on a path directly behind his house. It was a young adult male that was ambling through the neighborhood.
“We have lots of brown bears in Anchorage,” said Jessy Coltrane, of Fish and Game. “Usually they mind their P’s and Q’s and no one ever sees them.”
But Coltrane says there is an increase in activity of young adult bears that are two or three years old who keep getting into trouble.
“They’ve recently left their mothers and they are still figuring out how to be bears,” says Coltrane, adding those bears are the types that most often get shot.
That’s what happened to this bear Wednesday evening. Coltrane said it was more or less trapped in a neighborhood with nowhere to go. When the bear killed and starting eating a moose calf in someone’s back yard, it sealed its fate.
“They are eating a moose calf in your yard and it's defensive. If you accidentally startle that animal it would be a concern that it could do someone bodily harm,” says Coltrane. “So for that very reason we removed this bear.”