Bears awake in Anchorage

Posted: Friday, March 24, 2000

ANCHORAGE - Several people have reported seeing bears roaming the Hillside neighborhood of Anchorage, an Alaska Department of Fish and Game official said.

``Most bears are still in their dens,'' said biologist Rick Sinnott, ``(but) this isn't remarkably early'' for a few to be out and about.

Clinton Lofgren said he was looking out the window of his Hillside home on Wednesday when a grizzly bear sauntered through the yard.

``I was surprised,'' Lofgren said, in large part because the ground is still covered in snow in most places.

Fish and Game officials estimate that there are 50 to 60 black bears and six to eight brown bears roaming around the Anchorage area.

Sinnott said the bears wake up just as the Canada geese begin to return, usually within a few days of March 20.

Lofgren said the bear walked right down the driveway and knocked over one of his garbage cans.

``He was a pretty bear,'' Lofgren said, describing a blonde grizzly with dark, almost black paws.

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