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Lots of bears downtown this weekend

One bruin casualty on Saturday morning

Posted: September 13, 2011 - 12:03am

Winter’s well on its way, and the bears are getting into their desperate time of year. This is causing more and more black bear sightings around town as they look for food.

Department of Fish and Game biologist Ryan Scott said several calls came in this weekend of bears in the downtown area, including on Franklin Street, Capital Avenue and around the federal building.

He said reports indicate there is at least one black bear family unit with a sow and two cubs plus a separate lone adult that have been showing up. He said the bears have been very active and focused on getting at food, which is normal this time of year.

“Truly they’re capitalizing on any opportunity to get to refuse,” he said.

Scott said an adult male was also killed by a car on Saturday morning. He said the incident occurred on Egan Drive adjacent to Twin Lakes. He said that cars hitting bears is something else that happens every year, although this location was an odd one.

The Juneau Police Department did not have additional details on the incident. JPD spokeswoman Cindee Brown-Mills said that cases like this where bears are killed are referred to ADF&G.

The bears are in hyperphagia mode, which is when they eat excessively to prepare for the upcoming hibernation.

“Often this is the busiest time for us when they put in that effort to get that last food they can,” said Scott.

He said extra caution is of the utmost importance now, particularly when dealing with garbage. He said people should follow city regulations on their refuse, not leave it out overnight and make sure any needed maintenance to enclosures is done quickly. He said if dumpsters are overflowing, do not throw anything more in them but find another method of disposal.

“We’re almost through it but we’ve got a good, solid month before all is said and done,” said Scott.

• Contact reporter Jonathan Grass at 523-2276 or at jonathan.grass@juneauempire.com.

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