HomeOutdoorsNewsAlaska Wildlife Officials Euthanize Black Bear Sow and Three Cubs

Alaska Wildlife Officials Euthanize Black Bear Sow and Three Cubs

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Jessica Matthews/For The Washington Post via Getty Images )

Alaska Fish and Game officials were forced to put down a black bear sow and three cubs following a series of the animals visiting a neighborhood in East Anchorage. 

According to Alaska’s News Source, authorities stated that the four black bears had become habituated to humans and their food following frequent visits near Cheney Lake and Baxter Bog. “They had been operating in East Anchorage all summer,” Fish and Game biologist, Dave Battle, explained. “Getting into trash and birdseed and chickens and all sorts of things.”

Although the black bears were never aggressive, Battle explained that humans allowed the animals to develop bad habits. The habits eventually became a threat to public safety. “They just kept getting worse and worse and more and more habituated,” he continued. “And here when we were dealing with them the last couple weeks, because we could see them and evaluated them, we could see they had gotten past the point of no return.” 

Battle then stated that the “final straw” occurred after a homeowner reported that the black bears were denning under their deck. “As you might imagine, no one is really excited about having four bears denning under their deck,” he explained. “Basically right up against their house.” 

Battle further explained that they had to flush the black bears out with bear spray on multiple occasions. However, that was when they discovered that the animals had become comfortable under someone else’s deck. “They would come out, they would be gone for a few hours,” he said. “They would either come back to that same deck and go back under there once the spray had dissipated or they would go to the other deck.”

Fish and Game sought to place the black bear cubs in zoos or other facilities. However, none were currently available. 

Alaska Fish and Game Says 20 Black Bears Have Been Killed in Anchorage This Year Alone 

Meanwhile, Alaska Fish and Game told the media outlet that 20 black bears have been killed in Anchorage this year alone. This was done either by the agency or individuals in defense of life and property. 

However, no brown bears have been killed in the municipality. But Battle stated it was believed there are several brown bears still awake in the Rabbitt Creek area. The animals have reportedly been getting into trash in the area. 

Alaska Fish and Game constantly implore residents throughout the state to not feed the bears. The agency even offers advice on preventing bears from getting into backyards. This means residents need to securely store all garbage and freezers inside of structures. This means also a bear-resistant container or shed. It’s also important to not place trash on the curb until the morning of garbage pickup. It’s also advised to take down all bird feeders from April 1st through November 15th.