— Alaska Dispatch News (@adndotcom) November 10, 2017
An eye–opening report from the Alaska Dispatch News today in terms of the staggering numbers of bears that were shot to death in the greater Anchorage area.
Here’s reporter Tegan Hanlon with more:
So far in 2017, 34 bears have been shot to death in the Municipality of Anchorage, a vast area that spans from Eklutna to Portage and includes many thousands of acres of wilderness.
Half of the bears were killed by people who said they were defending their lives or their property. The other half were killed by police, park rangers or wildlife biologists.
Dave Battle, the Anchorage-area wildlife biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said this year’s tally of bear kills is among the highest ever recorded in the municipality. It’s nearly four times more than last year’s total.
“We had light years the past few years,” Battle said. “Then this year we just kind of had an explosion.”
So what caused the spike in bear kills?
There’s no single answer, Battle said, but there are theories. One of them: After the fatal mauling of a 16-year-old on Bird Ridge, some people just became less tolerant of bears.
The map in the tweet above pinpoints all the locations around Alaska’s largest city, which makes for an informative interactive tool to measure just how significant these numbers are.