A sure rite of spring for residents of Alaska’s largest city is the return of bears, some with cubs.


One black bear sow has become a celebrity of sorts, making a snow den just a few yards off a busy street near the Anchorage airport. She has two newborn cubs who can be seen on some days frolicking in the snow.


Residents have been stopping by the bear’s den this week, snapping photos from the road and posting them to social media.


Amateur photographer Eleanor Batchelder snapped photos of the mother bear nursing a cub.


Wildlife of all sorts is common in the municipality of Anchorage, where about 300,000 residents share 1,958 square miles (5,071sq. kilometers) of land with up to 350 black bears and up to 65 grizzly bears.


Alaska Department of Fish and Game spokesperson Ken Marsh said they’re aware of “at least one black bear sow with two tiny cubs spotted recently in the Anchorage Bowl.”


Marsh noted they’ve also had bear sighting reports in Eagle River, and suspects more are beginning to stir.


Fish and Game said people should not be disturbing the bears. Those who get too close, or cause too much stress, can cause the sow to flee and abandon her cubs.


“By the same token, we would advise people who view bears to please keep pets leashed to avoid conflicts and stress on the animals,” Marsh wrote in an email. “Photographers should avoid the temptation to approach too closely, and absolutely do not employ ‘drones,’ in the vicinity of the animals to get a better shot. Doing so, or approaching the bears too closely could result in a citation for wildlife harassment.”


He also said it’s typical for crowds, hoping to catch a glimpse of Anchorage wildlife, have blocked traffic and created hazardous road conditions. He warned that this must be avoided.