Bear killed near popular hiking trail after breaking car window
A black bear looking for a snack was killed after it broke into a vehicle in the parking lot of a popular trailhead.
A Chugach State Park Ranger on Friday morning was forced to kill a black bear that had rummaged through a Subaru Forester and was becoming increasingly confrontational in the Glen Alps Trailhead parking lot, a park official said.
The day began normally for Park Ranger Ben Corwin -- until he embarked on his routing parking lot patrol around 8:30 a.m.
Corwin said a full Glen Alps Trailhead parking lot is a common summertime site -- even on weekdays -- but on this day, he questioned why so many cars parked on the lot's mountainside. Soon, he discovered a group of onlookers watching a bear that had broken the Forester's driver's side window.
Everyone was watching a bear that had broken out a window of a black Subaru Forester.
The window of the SUV was probably rolled down slightly, Corwin said. Bears can then hook their claws on the top of the window and shatter it.
When Corwin saw the bear, it had a soft picnic-like container. It retreated from the crowd.
Corwin called the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Together they decided the bear needed to be euthanized. Corwin got his car between the crowd of people and the bear, who was now by the thick alders.
They played the game of "cat and mouse" for a little while, and the bear started exhibiting bold behavior. It was slapping the ground and snapping its jaws. Eventually, Corwin was able to get a safe shot and killed the bear.
As a Park Ranger, Corwin said he is passionate about the public lands that he works in. He cares for the animals and the people, but "sometimes they come in conflict."
He said things like this don't happen often, but "bears are motivated by food and sometimes, basically, what that means is bears are going to find food at all costs."
The more accessible the food is, the easier it is for the bear. Corwin asks that people secure their food and trash so that bears keep a natural diet instead of human food and waste.
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