'Troublesome' bear killed in Switzer Creek

Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Alaska Department of Fish and Game workers on Tuesday trapped and killed a black bear that had been breaking into freezers in the Switzer Creek area.

Neil Barten, area wildlife biologist with Fish and Game, said the 250-pound male bear was between 12 and 15 years old. The animal wasn't a good candidate for relocation, he said.

"It was a real troublesome one," he said. "We try to relocate females with cubs if at all possible and young animals, but ones like this very likely would be back."

The department tried to salvage the meat from the animal but it wasn't usable, he said.

Fish and Game employees also have been setting traps in the Mendenhall Valley this week, Barten said. Bear activity should continue through late October and Barten urged people to keep their garbage away from bears.

"We've been getting 15 calls a day, very irate people," he said. "We're not a bear-moving service and bear-catching service. Mostly what we do is preach garbage control.

"We're not going to catch bears unless there's a really good reason and unless garbage is being taken care of."

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