Anchorage, Alaska – Earlier this week, wildlife officials in Anchorage, Alaska, killed four black bears, including a mother and her two cubs. Alaska Department of Fish and Game agents killed the bears on Tuesday because the animals had been frequenting the Centennial Park Campground, which has recently been repurposed as a campground for homeless people.
In a news release, Biologist Dave Battle justified the killings as a safety issue:
“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. Until that changes, more bears are going to come into the campground and get into tents. That’s a safety issue both for the people staying there now, and anyone who stays there after them.”
Efforts are being made to educate the people at the campground about safe bear practices. Parks and Recreation Director Mike Braniff said:
“This is 24 hours a day, we send somebody out to make the rounds, to see what’s going on, communicate with folks. And also volunteer to clean up any trash they may have accumulated since the last visit.”
Hundreds of bears live in and around Anchorage. It is unclear if killing bears who enter the campground area will continue. Battle stated:
“Killing any particular bear is a very temporary solution 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.”
(Image via Pixabay Free Images)