Black bear relocated after wandering into downtown Anchorage cemetery
Last updated at 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16
Anchorage police and personnel from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game spent Thursday evening keeping an eye on a black bear that wandered through downtown and into the Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery.
The bear was first spotted in the area of Fourth Avenue and A Street around 7:45 p.m., a police dispatcher said. A later statement from police said the bear was initially reported near City Lofts on Fourth Avenue around 6 p.m.
“Tourists were nearby watching the bear and taking photos,” police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro said in an email.
Police did not actively try to catch it, but instead followed it to keep it away from people, a police dispatcher explained.
Castro said police called Fish and Game at 6:15 p.m. for assistance. She said around that time, the bear ran to the entrance of Covenant House on A Street. Residents were asked to stay inside.
The bear made its way into the cemetery around 6:30 p.m., at which point cemetery security helped police clear the area of visitors.
Shortly before 8:30 p.m., Fish and Game “darted” the bear, which put it to sleep, according to Corey Stantorf, the assistant area biologist for Fish and Game unit 14C. He said two other Fish and Game personnel and a public information officer for the department were also there in response to the bear.
Once the animal was safely unconscious, Stantorf and his team relocated the bear north of Anchorage away from humans, he said.
Police said it is protocol to notify Fish and Game when incidents involving wild animals occur.
No injuries have been reported in connection with the bear.
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