Cops kill third bear with taste for trash

Bear wouldn't leave Twin Lakes Dumpster

Posted: Friday, September 08, 2000

For the third time this summer, Juneau police on Thursday evening were forced to kill a black bear.

The police department received a call at 7:45 p.m. from Sleepy Spruce Apartments near Salmon Creek in the area of Twin Lakes. The report said the bear was trying to get into garbage and that children were nearby. The male bear repeatedly returned to a Dumpster, although the cover was closed and chained. The bear stood on top of the Dumpster, bending the plastic lids and fishing out the contents as people snapped pictures.

Officers tried to frighten the bear away with yelling, an air horn and large firecrackers. Twice the bear retreated into the trees, and twice it returned. Since the bear would not leave permanently, officers shot it, said Officer Bob Kolvig.

"We've had hundreds of bear calls this summer," Kolvig said.

Sgt. Steve Bear, the new fish and wildlife protection trooper with the Juneau Alaska State Trooper detachment, responded to the scene and retrieved the remains.

"He was shot up pretty bad, but he looked healthy to me," Bear said.

"It's an unfortunate thing any time a bear has to be shot, but when they come down into the city like that, it's a very tense situation," Bear said.

"Once they get a taste for garbage, they're not going to break it. The folks had done a good job of making that Dumpster bear-proof, but he had a taste for it," Bear said.

A bear was shot Saturday on Blueberry Hill in Douglas and another bear was killed on July 27 on Calhoun Avenue in downtown Juneau after feeding on cracked corn left for birds.

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