4 bears killed in Alaska campground reserved for homeless

Jul 6, 2022, 4:59 AM | Updated: 6:11 pm
Tents are shown Wednesday, July 6, 2022, inside Centennial Park in Anchorage, Alaska. State wildlif...

Tents are shown Wednesday, July 6, 2022, inside Centennial Park in Anchorage, Alaska. State wildlife officials have killed four black bears in a campground recently set aside for the city's homeless population after Anchorage's largest shelter was closed. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

(AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska wildlife officials have killed four black bears in a campground recently reserved for people in Anchorage who are homeless after the city’s largest shelter was closed.

Employees from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game on Tuesday killed a sow and her two cubs and another adult bear that was acting separately, stealing food from tents inside Centennial Park, which is managed by the city, officials said.

Anchorage is Alaska’s biggest city, with nearly 300,000 residents, but it is also bear country.

The park is located in east Anchorage, nestled between Chugach State Park and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, which state wildlife officials describe as a vast bear habitat.

The Department of Fish and Game said Anchorage residents share the municipality with up to 350 American black bears and up to 65 brown bears.

“Certainly it’s a busy bear time for us all across Anchorage,” said department spokesperson Cynthia Wardlow.

This part of Anchorage “does tend to be a pretty active bear area because of the high- density housing,” she said.

The city closed its pandemic mass shelter at Sullivan Arena on June 30. The arena had housed hundreds of homeless people throughout the last two years, Alaska Public Media reported.

When the shelter closed, some people who are homeless moved to Centennial Park, grabbing the 84 available spots after the campground stopped taking reservations from the public.

Corey Allen Young, a spokesperson for Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson, said there are 210 people living at Centennial Park, and the city has provided enhanced security for camp users.

The city “has also brought in 60 bear proof food storage containers, 20 bear proof 32 gallon containers and is doing hourly clean up efforts to mitigate the trash and food. We also continue to inspect camps and educate campers about bear safe practices,” Young said in an email.

The campground, just off the Glenn Highway, is “an ideal jumping-off point for Alaska travelers,” the city’s website says. But it also warns campers not to store food inside tents or outside in coolers so bears are not attracted to campsites.

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

When bears go inside tents or structures, they pose a risk to human life and are considered a public safety threat, and they may be killed.

“Centennial Campground staff are doing the best they can to manage the campground and minimize attractants, but there are still a lot of tents with food in them,” Dave Battle, the Fish and Game department area biologist in Anchorage, said in a statement. “Until that changes, more bears are going to come into the campground and get into tents.”

He said this is a safety issue for campers.

“Killing any particular bear is a very temporary solution, “Battle said. “There are always going to be more bears in that vicinity because of its location, and we can’t teach bears not to eat what they can find.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - A sign asks those getting vaccinated to keep 6 feet apart during the vaccination event, Wedn...
Associated Press

CDC drops quarantine, distancing recommendations for COVID

NEW YORK (AP) — The nation’s top public health agency relaxed its COVID-19 guidelines Thursday, dropping the recommendation that Americans quarantine themselves if they come into close contact with an infected person. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also said people no longer need to stay at least 6 feet away from others. The […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Justice Dept. weighs in on 2020 election robocall suit

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department has weighed in on a civil lawsuit against two conservative political operatives accused of using robocalls to dissuade Black voters from taking part in the 2020 election. The department said Friday that defense lawyers for the two men were misinterpreting the Voting Rights Act, although the department […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Man charged in death of co-worker at Michigan GM plant

ORION TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A 48-year-old man was charged with open murder Friday in connection with a fatal assault at the General Motors assembly plant in Orion Township, a sheriff said. A magistrate authorized a warrant charging the suspect with a crime that could result in a life sentence in prison if convicted, Oakland […]
21 hours ago
People walk in the rain in front of a station, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Shizuoka, west of Tokyo....
Associated Press

Tropical Storm Meari heads to Japan, packed with winds, rain

TOKYO (AP) — Tropical Storm Meari unleashed heavy rains on southwestern Japan as it headed northward Saturday toward the capital, Tokyo, according to Japanese weather officials. The Japan Meteorological Agency warned Meari was on course to make landfall by noon, bringing sudden heavy rains and blasting winds, possibly setting off mudslides and flooding. Shizuoka Prefecture, […]
21 hours ago
This image taken from video provided by ABC7 Los Angeles, shows the scene where a railroad tank car...
Associated Press

Boiling chemical on rail car forces evacuation in California

PERRIS, Calif. (AP) — A section of a major Southern California freeway was shut down and 170 homes were under evacuation orders Friday as a chemical reaction inside a railroad tank car threatened to cause an explosion, authorities said. The tank car was parked on a spur off a main rail line along Interstate 215 […]
21 hours ago
FILE - A sign reading "My body, my Choice," is taped to a hanger taped to a streetlight in front of...
Associated Press

Idaho Supreme Court won’t block strict abortion bans

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho’s strict abortion bans will be allowed to take effect while legal challenges over the laws play out in court, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled Friday. The ruling means potential relatives of an embryo or fetus can now sue abortion providers over procedures done after six weeks of gestation — before […]
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
4 bears killed in Alaska campground reserved for homeless