Mama Black Bear and Her Two Cubs Shot Dead After State Officials Think They're Getting Too Close to Homeless Camp
A family of black bears is dead after Alaska wildlife officials determined the animals were getting too close to an Anchorage park populated by the homeless.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced they’d killed four bears in a Tuesday statement.
The animals had entered a tent in Centennial Park looking for food. This development led the authorities to deem the bears a threat to public safety.
The park had been repurposed for use by the homeless, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
The city of Anchorage had directed homeless residents to the park after closing a municipal arena for use as a shelter in June.
“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,” warned Dave Battle, a biologist with the Department of Fish and Game.
“Until that changes, more bears are going to come into the campground and get into tents.”
An adult female, two cubs and an unrelated male bear were shot and killed after entering the campground.
The state ultimately made the decision necessary to shield human life from any harm.
But it should never have come to this.
The bear killings come after an Army soldier died after a bear mauling in May, according to Field and Stream.
Staff Sgt. Michael Plant died as a result of a brown bear attack in May 10 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
Centennial Park borders that same base, potentially heightening concerns of more fatal bear attacks in the area.
Black bears are omnivores that specialize in scavenging, often finding food where humans have left it behind.
They’re the most populous bear in North America, with their scavenging practices allowing them to thrive, unlike more carnivorous bears.
Wildlife officials urge the public to keep any food sources tightly secure in bear-proof containers in order to avoid drawing black bears to populated places.
When a bear grows accustomed to entering inhabited places for food, the animal becomes a public safety threat.
Black bears are smaller and less dangerous than their relatives such as the grizzly bear, but offensive attacks are not unprecedented, according to Bear.org.
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