Bears killed in Kenai

Posted: Monday, July 05, 2010

KENAI - Kenai police have killed a brown bear and her two cubs after the sow tried to enter one home and actually got into another.

Police say a resident reported that a bear was trying to get into the eastside home early Saturday morning, pushing against the front door.

A responding officer scared the bear off. A while later, the officer saw the sow and cubs eating trash in the yard of a home on a nearby street.

The sow had broken through a screen door and pulled the garbage outside.

The officer saw the sow circle around the house and go back inside for more trash, and then stick her nose through the entry a third time.

Police chief Gus Sandahl said the bears were shot shortly after.

City officials are declaring the east side of town a bear problem area. They want residents to better handle their trash, either by removing it from outside or putting in bear-resistant containers. The city will even haul it away at no cost if residents can't do it themselves, according to Rick Koch, Kenai city manager.

"We're just trying to pass on there is an emergency with this," he said. "It seems to be a very dangerous situation that is happening every night."

Koch said there were 14 reported brown bear incidents in just three days in late June.

Reports indicate there are other trash-seeking bears beside the animals killed Saturday. Also reported were a sow with three cubs and a lone brown bear.

"Given the bear activity, any bear sightings, residents are encouraged to call so we can track the bears," Sandahl said.

In one reported incident, the bear ravaged a turkey deep fryer on the back porch of a family home, said Larry Lewis of the state Department of Fish and Game. Gallons of grease spilled all over.

"There was a bunch of property damage," Lewis said.

In another incident, a bear ripped a shed door off to get at garbage stored inside, he said.

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