Three Sitka-Area Bears Euthanized After Getting Too Close To Residents

A sow bear and her two cubs sadly were euthanized after a too-close-for-comfort encounter with a Sitka family and their dogs. Here’s more from KCAW radio:

Greba and her husband Keith pulled into their driveway, and her husband got out of the car with Sailor on a leash. Gracie jumped out of the car and made her way to the waterfall near their house to get a drink. On the other side of the creek where Gracie was drinking stood a sow and two yearling bear cubs, about 20 feet away. 

“When I look over, they’re on a pile of garbage, and they look at me, and one of them starts down the bank,” Greba said. “And Gracie’s a bit deaf, and I start screaming at her, and she’s oblivious, because she’s going down to get her drink. And I’m deathly afraid of bears, and I don’t even know how I responded, but I was able to get her, and get her in the garage, and Keith was able to get the puppy inside and get his gun.” 

By that time, the bears were in their front yard next to their firepit. 

“Keith fired a shot in the air because…she’s got to go away, and she’s not backing down at all,” Greba said of the sow. “She’s just fearless and keeps staring at us.”

Alaska Department of Fish and Game officials deemed the bears to be dangerous after protecting garbage in the neighborhood. Here’s the Alaska Wildlife Troopers dispatch:


Location: Sitka

Type: Public Safety Brown Bear Kill

Dispatch Text:

On 6-7-24, shortly before 1300 hours, Sitka Police Dispatch advised AWT of an aggressive Brown Bear with two cubs in the area of Jamestown Drive and the 1800 block of Sawmill Creek Road. Dispatch further advised the sow had attempted to attack the complainant’s dog, and was eating trash at a residence. An AWT Trooper and Sitka PD officer responded and located a sow with two cubs which had entered the attached garage of another residence through an open door and ransacked the space to access garbage therein. Based on reported aggressive behavior and observation that the bears had entered and remained in a residence, all three bears were deemed a hazard to public safety and were killed by AWT at the residence. The bears were salvaged as required by regulation with the hides, claws, and skulls turned over to ADF&G. AWT would like to remind citizens to secure their residences and any items on their property which might attract bears. 

Posted on 6/7/2024 5:55:15 PM by DPS\kjferguson

Posting Section: AK Wildlife Troopers