ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska wildlife officers have killed 4 black bears in a campground lately reserved for folks in Anchorage who’re homeless after town’s largest shelter was closed.
Staff from the Alaska Division of Fish and Sport on Tuesday killed a sow and her two cubs and one other grownup bear that was performing individually, stealing meals from tents inside Centennial Park, which is managed by town, officers mentioned.
Anchorage is Alaska’s largest metropolis, with almost 300,000 residents, however it is usually bear nation.
The park is positioned in east Anchorage, nestled between Chugach State Park and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, which state wildlife officers describe as an unlimited bear habitat.
The Division of Fish and Sport mentioned Anchorage residents share the municipality with as much as 350 American black bears and as much as 65 brown bears.
“Actually it’s a busy bear time for us all throughout Anchorage,” mentioned division spokesperson Cynthia Wardlow.
This a part of Anchorage “does are typically a fairly lively bear space due to the high- density housing,” she mentioned.
The town closed its pandemic mass shelter at Sullivan Enviornment on June 30. The world had housed a whole lot of homeless folks all through the final two years, Alaska Public Media reported.
When the shelter closed, some people who find themselves homeless moved to Centennial Park, grabbing the 84 obtainable spots after the campground stopped taking reservations from the general public.
Corey Allen Younger, a spokesperson for Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson, mentioned there are 210 folks dwelling at Centennial Park, and town has offered enhanced safety for camp customers.
The town “has additionally introduced in 60 bear proof meals storage containers, 20 bear proof 32 gallon containers and is doing hourly clear up efforts to mitigate the trash and meals. We additionally proceed to examine camps and educate campers about bear protected practices,” Younger mentioned in an e-mail.
The campground, simply off the Glenn Freeway, is “a great jumping-off level for Alaska vacationers,” town’s web site says. However it additionally warns campers to not retailer meals inside tents or outdoors in coolers so bears usually are not drawn to campsites.
Wildlife officers mentioned earlier than the bears had been killed, they had been getting into tents to get meals, private hygiene gadgets and trash.
When bears go inside tents or buildings, they pose a danger to human life and are thought-about a public security menace, they usually could also be killed.
“Centennial Campground employees are doing the very best they will to handle the campground and decrease attractants, however there are nonetheless loads of tents with meals in them,” Dave Battle, the Fish and Sport division space biologist in Anchorage, mentioned in a press release. “Till that adjustments, extra bears are going to come back into the campground and get into tents.”
He mentioned it is a security subject for campers.
“Killing any specific bear is a really short-term answer, “Battle mentioned. “There are all the time going to be extra bears in that neighborhood due to its location, and we will’t educate bears to not eat what they will discover.”
Story by Mark Thiessen