Four bears were killed at an Alaskan campsite reserved for the homeless


Anchorage, Alaska (AP) — Alaska’s wildlife authorities killed four Tsukinowaguma at a campsite recently reserved for homeless Anchorage people after the city’s largest shelter was closed. rice field.

Employees of the Alaska Fish Games Department stole food from a tent in a city-managed Centennial Park on Tuesday, killing a sow and her two Cubs and another adult bear who were acting separately. Killed.

Anchorage is Alaska’s largest city, with a population of nearly 300,000, but also a bear country.

The park is located in eastern Anchorage, between Chugach State Park and the Elmendorf-Richardson Joint Base, and the state’s wildlife authorities describe it as a vast bear habitat.

The Fish and Games department said Anchorage residents share up to 350 American black bears and up to 65 brown bears and municipalities.

“Sure, it’s a busy bear time for us across Anchorage,” said department spokesman Cynthia Wardlow.

This part of Anchorage “tends to be a fairly active bear area because of the dense housing,” she said.

The city closed the pandemic mass shelter at Sullivan Arena on June 30th. The arena has housed hundreds of homeless people over the past two years, Alaska public media reported.

When the shelter was closed, homeless people moved to Centennial Park, and after the campsite canceled reservations from the general public, they grabbed 84 available spots.

Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson spokesman Corey Allen Young said the Centennial Park is home to 210 people and the city is strengthening the security of camp users.

The city also brings in food storage containers that can withstand 60 bears and 32 gallons that can withstand 20 bears, and conducts hourly cleaning activities to reduce waste and food. We also continue to inspect camps and educate campers about the safe practices of bears, “Young said in an email.

The campsite, right next to Glenn Highway, is “an ideal starting point for Alaskan travelers,” the city’s website said. However, it also warns campers not to store food in coolers inside or outside the tent so that bears are not attracted to the campsite.

Wildlife officials said they were in tents to get food, personal hygiene and trash before the bears were killed.

If a bear enters a tent or building, it can be life-threatening, considered a public security threat and can be killed.

“The Centennial campsite staff are doing their best to manage the campsite and minimize attractants, but there are still plenty of tents with food,” said Ancollage’s Fish and Games department. Regional biologist Dave Battle said in a statement. “Until that changes, more bears will enter the campsite and enter the tent.”

He said this was a camper van safety issue.

“Killing a particular bear is a very temporary solution,” Battle said. “Because of that location, there will always be more bears nearby. I can’t teach bears not to eat what they find.”