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Officials search for black bear yearling

Posted: June 22, 2013 - 4:10pm  |  Updated: June 23, 2013 - 12:01am
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Juneau Police Department officers are seen responding to a report of an aggressive bear in the Twin Lakes area mid-morning Saturday. Police and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game searched for the yearling, but it ran away.  Emily Russo Miller / Juneau Empire
Emily Russo Miller / Juneau Empire
Juneau Police Department officers are seen responding to a report of an aggressive bear in the Twin Lakes area mid-morning Saturday. Police and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game searched for the yearling, but it ran away.

A young black bear that reportedly charged a Juneau homeowner and his children prompted police and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to respond to the Twin Lakes area mid-morning Saturday.

Two responding Juneau Police Department officers searched for the bear at the residence, located near the intersection of Glacier Highway and Bauer Lane, but it had run off by the time Fish and Game area management biologist Ryan Scott arrived on scene.

Based on the description from the homeowner, Scott surmised the bear, rather than being aggressive, was probably a yearling, about a year and a half old, that had recently been forced out of its mother’s den to fend for itself.

“I didn’t see any attractants or anything at the home that would lead me to believe that the bear’s coming in for food,” Scott said in an interview at the residence. “He’s probably just a little bewildered and looking for food, but I do think that kind of behavior is something that we need to pay attention to. I think the bear’s just pushing the limits a little bit, but it’s not something that I’m going to let slide.”

Scott said he intends to set a culvert bear trap at the house later that evening, and then kill the animal if it’s caught. He said that’s because Fish and Game has received a “handful” of reports of a bear meeting a similar description in the area.

“No aggression, but certainly kind of pushing the envelope a little bit,” he explained. “Again, I don’t think this bear’s overly aggressive, I think that it’s a young juvenile bear that’s recently been booted out by mom, trying to find its way, but it’s going about it the wrong way.”

He said Twin Lakes generally is a high bear activity area, especially around this time of year. Mother bears kick their young out of the den around early to mid-June, he said.

The homeowner declined to give an interview.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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