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Local man pleads guilty to feeding bears

Posted: September 20, 2011 - 12:03am

The Juneau man who was accused of illegally feeding black bears pleaded guilty in Juneau District Court on Wednesday to one count of feeding game.

Arnold W. Hanger, 65, was fined $5,000 with $2,500 suspended, given 10 days in jail with all 10 suspended and ordered to pay $1,500 in restitution to the state.

In addition, Hanger was ordered to perform 80 hours of community work service with the Alaska Department of Fish & Game’s Wildlife Division. Hanger was also placed on probation for two years.

The plea agreement came after an earlier investigation found Hanger had been actively feeding as many as 10 to 15 black bears at his residence located near Tee Harbor, north of Juneau. Several bears were observed by Alaska Wildlife Troopers at Hanger’s residence during the investigation.

During the service of a search warrant at the residence, 382 empty bags of dog food were located. Hanger did not own a dog. State law prohibits the feeding of most wild animals, including black bears.

Hanger was originally cited by AWT on June 20 for three counts of feeding game. Biologists from the Alaska Department of Fish & Game actively captured and collared several of the bears involved to aid in monitoring their movements in the area. Residents in the Lena Point and Tee Harbor areas should report seeing any bears with collars or ear tags.

Phone calls to Hanger have not been returned involving this case. A permit is required from fish and game to legally feed bears, wolves, moose and some other wildlife. The permits are usually only granted to wildlife rehabilitation facilities.

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