Alaska Zoo hosts Bear Aware event
Earlier this week, Fish and Game put down a brown bear in South Anchorage after it displayed aggressive behavior.
The Alaska Zoo's executive director, Pat Lampi, says people are more likely to see bold behavior from hungry bears this time of year because their favorite food sources aren't available yet.
"There's not much out for them yet this year, no berries, salmon aren't coming up the streams, so they're out hungry," said Lampi. "Younger ones are being kicked away by their moms, and then pretty soon moose calves are going to start dropping, which is a food source for them."
Some of the safety recommendations Lampi hopes to share with zoo visitors on Sunday include:
- Buddy up, you are safer in a group.
- Make noise, this will prevent you from surprising a bear.
- Use your senses to stay aware; no headphones!
- Carry bear spray, have it accessible and know how to use it.
- Don’t feed bears, handle food, fish and attractants responsibly.
- Slow down, high speed equals high-risk in bear habitat.
- Leash your pets, off-leash pets can bring bears back to you.
- Never run from a bear!
"Around your home, don't leave any dog food out, don't put out your trash cans until the morning of. Just make sure that there's no attractants around your home to bring the bear to you," Lampi added.
Lampi says Sunday's event, which runs from noon to 4 p.m. at the zoo, will be interactive — including a demonstration on how to properly use bear spray.
"One of the more popular things is we test some of the latest and greatest bear-resistant trash cans," said Lampi. "At 1 o'clock, our black bears will be testing some cans and coolers, and then at 3 o'clock, the brown bears get their chance at it. So, it kind of shows how this new equipment can make your home safer — and your camping trips."
In celebration of Mother's Day, all moms will be granted free entry into the zoo on Sunday.
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