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Wildlife Roundup for the week of June 25

Posted: June 28, 2012 - 11:02pm
A juvenile black bear finds a nice vegetarian snack near the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center over the weekend. Bear activity near the visitor center has been slower than last year at this time.  Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire
Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire
A juvenile black bear finds a nice vegetarian snack near the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center over the weekend. Bear activity near the visitor center has been slower than last year at this time.

Welcome to the Juneau area Wildlife Roundup. The intent of this column is to provide local residents updates on wildlife activity in the Juneau area and general interest wildlife information.

Local Black Bears: Black bear activity in Juneau continues to be reported across town.

• A young bear is being seen regularly along Douglas Highway and in West Juneau.

• One female with three cubs of the year were observed in the Twin Lakes area, and have been reported near the hospital and neighborhoods adjacent to Wire Street

• A single bear has been observed multiple times near the Kodzoff Trailer Parks, and along Stephen Richards Drive

• Another bear was reported on Kanata Deyi near Thunder Mountain.

• A large black bear was observed in the Miller Field baseball park parking area, providing a great viewing opportunity for players and fans.

Bears feeding along Glacier Highway in the bypass area and near the Shrine continue to be reported. Many of the calls ADF&G are receiving are simply reports of bears in the area but the department continues to receive reports of bears in garbage cans and occasionally a dumpster. Residents are reminded to remove all attractants from their home and to secure household garbage in a bear resistant container until the day of pick up, and to ensure that cans and dumpsters are maintained appropriately.

Wildlife Hazards: As mentioned, black bears are still routinely seen feeding along local roads. The department received several calls concerning traffic congestion because of people viewing bears. There have been fewer deer reports recently and these animals, along with the bears, will likely be moving into timbered areas in the near future in search of other food sources. Please do not stop along side of feeding bears and wildlife and do not loiter in the area. This can create an unsafe traffic situation, and may alarm the animal which may move or run into traffic. It is appropriate to view wildlife along the roads only when there is an area where vehicles can be parked off the road, and viewing can be accomplished from a distance that will not harass the animals.

Notes on orphaned animals: The department received two calls concerning young animals that the caller believed were orphaned; a deer fawn was reported on Thane Road and two bear cubs were reported in the Herbert River area. Beginning in late May, we often get orphan animal calls but many times, they turn out to be a situation where the adults have left the young for a short period of time to forage. Please do not pick up young animals as it is difficult to reunite the family group, and there are few placement options for young animals.

• Ryan Scott is an area management biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. For additional information, please contact the Douglas Area wildlife Office at 465-4359.

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