SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Spring is Here, Be Bear Aware


April 11, 2018
Wednesday AM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - In Southeast Alaska and points beyond, word has it that bears are waking and starting to move. And that can mean only one thing: It’s time for Alaskans to assume their best “bear aware” behavior.

The Alaska Dept of Fish and Game Division of Wildlife Conservation's Dirctor Bruce Dale of the Region I Ketchikan office is reminding residents the bears will be waking up and leaving their dens any day now.

Quoting a news release from Dale, it’s that time of year to take down bird feeders. Bird feeders typically turn into bear feeders, seed and suet draws bears to homes in early spring, so those attractants should be removed and stored until late fall.

jpg Spring is Here, Be Bear Aware

This naughty Ketchikan black bear first started feasting on the photographer's cherry tree, then the next day the bear came back and started eating the apples. Bears are naturally attracted to fruit bearing trees and shrubs which presents a challenge for gardeners in bear country. Yes, cherries are classified as a fruit. 
(How To Bear Proof Fruit Trees)
Front Page Feature Photo By DAN ZINK ©2017
SitNews File Photo

According to Dale, bears that associate homes and people with food, often return. Feeding bears, even unintentionally, is illegal. Leaving attractants out, be it in the city or Borough, can result in fines.

Some tips provided by Dale to keep in mind as bears wake up and become active include:


  • Store trash inside building or in bear-proof containers; keep secure until the day of scheduled pickup. Use ratchet straps to secure the lid. Encourage neighbors to do the same.

Electric fences:

  • Electric fences can keep bears out of chicken coops, gardens, compost, away from buildings and domestic animals. For more information contact your area department office or visit the departments webpage


  • Clean Barbecues, especially grease traps after each use.


  • Feed pets indoors or clean up excess and spilled food between meals. Store pet food, livestock/fish food and birdseed indoors, or in bear resistant containers.


  • Keep freezers locked and in secure building or otherwise out of bears’ reach


  • Plant gardens in the open, away from cover and game trails. Only compost raw vegetable matter and turn over compost frequently.

Incidents of bears frequenting neighborhoods or other populated areas, getting into trash, showing aggression, or related concerns should be reported to the nearest Department of Fish and Game office during regular business hours; if the situation involves an immediate public safety concern, contact the Alaska State Troopers.

Enjoy the season of the bears and respect their territory. Be bear aware.

To learn more about coexisting with bears, visit


Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


Source of News:

Alaska Department of Fish & Game
Division of Wildlife Conservation - Region I, Ketchikan Area Office



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