Fish and Game kills sow and 3 cubs in East Anchorage for threatening public safety

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – Four bears that frequently visited a neighborhood in East Anchorage have been euthanized, according to the Department of Fish and Game.

Fish and game biologist Dave Battle said the four bears, which were frequently seen near Lake Cheney and Baxter Bog, had become accustomed to humans and their food.

“They had been operating in East Anchorage all summer, getting into trash, birdseed, chickens and all kinds of stuff,” Battle said.

Although bears were never aggressive, Battle said humans allowed them to develop bad habits that eventually became a threat to public safety.

“They just kept getting worse and getting used to more and more,” he said. “And here, when we’ve been dealing with them for the last two weeks, because we could see them and assess them, we could see that they were past the point of no return.”

The straw that broke the camel’s back came when a homeowner called to say bears were living under their deck.

“As you can imagine, no one is really thrilled to have four bears living under their patio, right against their house,” Battle said.

Battle said they had flushed out the bears with bear spray on several occasions, only to see the animals getting comfortable under someone else’s deck.

“They would come out, they would be gone for a few hours, or they would come back to that same bridge and go back there once the spray cleared up, or they would go to the other bridge,” Battle said.

Battle said Fish and Game is looking for placement for the cubs at zoos or other facilities across the country, but none are currently available.

Fish and Game said 20 black bears have been killed in Anchorage this year, either by the agency or by individuals in defense of life or property. No brown bears were killed in the municipality, although Battle said there are several awake brown bears in the Rabbit Creek area that have been dumped.

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Raymond I. Langston