There’s been a couple bears lingering around town these days but Alaska Fish and Game is warning residents about one in particular. Nathan Svoboda is the Kodiak area wildlife biologist and said there is a potentially wounded bear roaming around the Spruce Cape and Woodland Acres area. On Monday night Svoboda said the bear made its way into a chicken coop and one of the homeowners in the area shot at it.
“The bear ran off, came back a little while later, was found in the chicken coop again, and shot at or shot again. We’re pretty sure it was hit at least once.”
He said the bear then ran off, and as of Tuesday afternoon still hadn’t been found, despite numerous searches by both fish and game and Alaska wildlife troopers throughout the day.
“We did find a blood trail. We followed that for a while but we lost the trail. It either stopped bleeding or just got covered up due to the rain.”
Svoboda said the bear is likely still in the area and folks need to be cautious, report any sightings and make sure they are taking appropriate measures with their food and trash.
“As you can imagine with
reduced amount of natural foods available they’re drug into town and
looking for garbage is a big thing. So if we can encourage folks to
store their garbage inside their garage or inside their house until the
day of the scheduled pick up that’s really beneficial. Another thing
that really brings the bears in is chicken coops and domestic livestock.
So we’re encouraging people to install electric fences to keep bears
out of their gardens and their chicken coops and their compost piles and
generally just away from domestic animals.”
He said folks
should also be storing the food for those domestic animals inside, and
taking down bird feeders since there are a lot of natural food sources
for birds these days and the feeders can sometimes attract hungry bears.
As for the wounded
bear still at large, Svoboda said it’s likely it will be put down if
it’s found, mainly because it has become an ongoing problem.
“We did haze it a couple
times, it’s had some cracker shells shot at it. It’s also been shot with
rubber pellets. But unfortunately due to the large number of chicken
coops and garbage cans that aren’t protected this bear is getting pretty
used to getting food from those areas and so it’s really getting
conditioned to the point that it’s not taking off when it’s hazed. And
so that’s unfortunate, and when that happens then occasionally the only
option is to put the animal down.”
However, he said they’ll have to assess the situation once the bear is found and make the ultimate decision then.
Folks who might have seen this bear, or any bear in residential areas
for that matter, should report the sighting to the Alaska State
Troopers, Kodiak Police Department or Fish and Game.