Bear killed at Moose Run Golf Course
People often see bears at Moose Run Golf Course in Anchorage. Seeing bears in the wild can be an exciting experience for golfers.
Thirteen-year-old golfer Abigail Ante has seen a number of bears on the course, including a small black bear a couple weeks ago during a PGA Junior League event on the Hill Course of Moose Run Golf Course.
"I just saw him and he just walked across the hole and people were just looking at him. He didn't really seem to care," said Ante.
Some golf instructors in the junior league, in golf carts, monitored the bear as it walked down a fairway between a couple groups of junior golfers. The bear did not approach any of the young golfers. One instructor said the bear then ran off into the woods. And that is how many encounters between bears and golfers end up at Moose Run-- uneventful.
Not so on Sunday. That is when Fish and Game shot and killed a black bear that approached a golfer.
"We have a staffer who actually was working out there part time and he got a report that the bear had aggressively chased a golfer and the golfer had thrown his bag down and run away. And the bear started getting into the bag. Apparently, there was a candy bar or power bar or something in there," said Ken Marsh, Alaska Department of Fish and Game spokesman.
Marsh says the staffer used bear spray on the animal four or five times.
"The bear pretty much just shook it off. It was so tuned in to getting that food that it wouldn't leave," said Marsh.
Marsh says the staffer then fired and hit the bear with a rubber bullet.
"Even then it wouldn't leave. And it, in fact, was approaching him so he ended up having to kill the bear," said Marsh.
Marsh says there have been recent complaints about a black bear approaching golfers. He says the department has also received reports that bears are being fed, saying some people have dropped food and waited for bears to show up.
"People were actually leaving bread crusts. Then they'd kind of back off and sit in their cars, wait for the bear to come out and take pictures of it," said Marsh.
Marsh says people feeding bears can lead to dangerous encounters; with bears associating people with food. He also says, such as the recent case, bears end up being shot and killed.
Moose Run is on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) property. A JBER public affairs official said their conservation officers are not aware of anyone feeding the bear, but do say that is illegal and discourage it.
While we've heard the incident happened on the Creek Course of Moose Run Golf Course, JBER says the bear has been seen on both the Creek and Hill courses and say that people should be "bear aware" regardless of which course the incident took place on. Fish and Game was unable to say which course the encounter happened on.
Fish and Game is urging golfers to carry bear spray. Marsh says if a bear approaches, golfers should wave their hands at the bear, hoping that will be enough to scare it away. Marsh also says, after what just happened, people may want to consider not putting food in their golf bags as well.
Marsh says their staffer saw another bear before seeing the one that approached the golfer. He says that first bear saw the staffer and then took off, something Fish and Game likes to see when it comes to bears and humans interacting. There are no reports of anyone being hurt.
"It's sad that they shot the bear but it's kind of a relief because then you don't really have to worry about any more problem bears like attacking anyone or anything," said Ante.
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: