What happens when aggressive grizzlies have a reliable food source? They don’t hibernate, that’s for sure.
A sow and its yearling are tipping over dumpsters in the Alaskan neighborhoods of Eagle River and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, and have been for months.
The Alaskan Department of Fish and Game estimate that with this food source the grizzly bears have discovered, it’s very likely that they will wait a lot longer to hibernate than usual.
Ken Marsh, a spokesman for Fish and Game said, “These bears have developed a habit of overturning dumpsters and visiting one or two particular trash-problem areas in these neighborhoods.”
Since April, Fish and Game has responded to multiple complaints of grizzly bears dumpster-diving without any interaction problems. However, three to six reports have stated that the grizzlies charged the humans in the area, a territorial move that typically occurs when a food source is in question.
“In at least one case, the sow bluff-charged people who were inside a home watching the bears through a window,” Marsh said regarding these interactions.
In the busier region of Anchorage, it’s often reported that black bears are raiding trash sources, however grizzly bears lose their regular food source of berries and salmon in the fall, so they will forage for any food source around.
Despite all of these complaints, the sow and yearling remain on the loose and have proven to be elusive captures because the reports have occurred through third parties or found on social medias. By the time Fish and Game arrive, the grizzly bears are long gone to their next dumpster.
Anyone in these areas who see the bears are asked to call 911 immediately.