Brown bear spotted near South Anchorage Neighborhood
Some people who live in a South Anchorage neighborhood are worried about a brown bear that’s been spotted near by.
Deborah Baines owns The Learning Farm on Gander Drive, not far from Lake Otis and Huffman. She runs a day camp at the farm, and said on any given day, it’s filled with animals and young children. When a neighbor called Thursday morning to say a bear was heading her way, she was more than a little concerned.
“We have neighbors who had their preschool kids here this morning,” said Baines. “They live right here and they had no idea we had a brown bear in the neighborhood.”
Baines is worried about what the bear might do, but Deana Watson, who lives up the road, is concerned about what the animal has already done. On Monday night, it ate eight of her chickens. She said the chickens were in a dog run which was not surrounded by an electric fence. She never expected a brown bear to be in her neighborhood.
“I’ve lived here 13 years,” she said. “We’ve had a black bear once or twice, but never a brown bear.”
Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist Dave Battle said he’s not surprised that without an electric fence, the bear helped itself.
“If there’s a well set-up fence and the bear gets in and gets shocked and runs off we might never hear about it,” said Battle. “It might take care of the problem before it starts.”
Now that the bear is hanging around, Battle does want to hear about it. He wants people to call him at Fish and Game at 907-267-2185 if they spot it.
“Particularly if it starts to get in into trash or if it starts exhibiting more aggressive behavior or fearless behavior. Then we’d be looking at taking more direct action.”
Battle said the department no longer relocates bears. He said that just makes a problem bear someone else’s problem, plus the animals tend to return. He said if the bear was deemed a sufficient threat to public safety it would most likely be shot.
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