Black bear trapped, killed in Valley

Officials concerned relocation wouldn't solve the problem

Posted: Monday, September 10, 2001

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game caught and destroyed a bear last week in the Mendenhall Valley.

The male black bear was trapped on Columbia Boulevard early Thursday.

Department officials have said they plan to cull bears that are spending too much time in Juneau's neighborhoods, pointing to garbage as the problem. Local residents should make sure they don't have anything in their yards that attracts bears, talk to neighbors who do and report garbage violations to the police, said assistant area wildlife biologist Polly Hessing.

"Some people would like us to move all the bears and some people in town would like us to shoot all the bears. In our opinion, neither is a solution," she said.

The department will be able to gather age information when one of the animal's teeth is processed this winter, Hessing said. She described the bear as "good-sized."

"One of our concerns is that when we move bears ... most bears come back, and they especially come back because people haven't cleaned up," she said.

Officials trapped another bear over the weekend on Fritz Cove, but released it when it wasn't the bear they were after, Hessing said.

The Juneau Police Department received 78 bear-related calls during the first week of September. Last weekend, police received 21 bear-related calls, ranging from a sow and two cubs obstructing hikers on Perseverance Trail to a bear tearing off the back screen door of a home in the Lemon Creek area, according to police reports.

Hessing said her office still is getting reports of people chasing bears and throwing rocks at the animals.

"It's not sensible for people to be chasing bears around," she said.

Urban Bear Committee Chairman Mark Farmer said he chased a bear off his roof in Douglas this weekend.

"It's too bad that they have to come to a point that we have to kill animals," he said. "It can't help but make me sad that people can't be responsible with their garbage."

Joanna Markell can be reached at

Trending this week:


© 2018. All Rights Reserved.  | Contact Us