Anchorage Bears’ Close Interaction With Humans Prompts ADFG To Euthanize Them

“Living in a state with large predators comes with responsibilities. In order to maintain healthy bear populations and reduce conflicts with bears, certain precautions should be taken. Whether it is keeping the garbage at your home secure, or maintaining a clean campsite, your behavior often dictates the bear’s behavior. Learn more about living and camping in bear country on these pages so that you, and the bears, can live safely together.”

This is what Alaska Department of Fish and Game reminds Alaskans in their “Living with Bears” section on the website. So while it’s not a certainty that ADFG’s decision to euthanize four bears – a sow and three cubs – was due to East Anchorage residents not being bear-aware, it’s possible that the bruins felt too comfortable in the human world, which in Alaska is always possible.

Here’s more Alaska Public Media, which reported that ADFG biologist Dave Battle said the department got calls about bears getting into homes’ birdseed and trash containers:

“We probably got more reports of conflicts with that particular group than probably any other single bear or family group this summer,” he said.

Then, they started to den under two decks in the area, looking for a place to hibernate. One homeowner tried installing an electric fence, and the other tried building a plywood fence around their deck. Neither kept them out. Fish and Game drove them out with bear spray several times.

“They would just come out, mess around in the woods nearby for a couple hours and wait for the spray to dissipate, and they would either go back under the same deck or they would go under the other deck, which was about a mile away,” he said.