Bear naked ladies, and their children, seem to be everywhere these days – not just at the State Fair.
In my own eastside neighborhood, one particular black bear and her three cubs are so well known by the State Fish and Game department that they will soon be needing a full time operator to take calls from alarmed residents.
The interesting thing about City Black Bears, as Fish and Game call them, is that they are regarded as “good bears” in general and F&G are reluctant to relocate them because they always come back to their favorite neighborhoods.
Another bearly understood behavior of these guys is that being between mamma and the cubs is not necessarily a threatening situation. F&G tell me that moms train their kids to belt up the nearest tree in an emergency and mom may take off for half an hour or so before returning to recover them.
While mother and children will stay together in their first year, next Spring the cubs will be usually on their own journey, particularly if the sow is bred this Fall.
I became personally involved with this issue after recording charming footage of the family right off my western deck while the three cubs munched on leaves high up in one of our trees, eventually breaking a few branches during their playground session.
City black bears may be regarded as ‘good bears’ by Fish and Game but if you have a threatening incident you should call 911 (or F&G if time allows).
Another public interest matter is that a hefty fine, $300 or more actually, will be issued to you if you are encouraging bear scavenging with bird-feeders or other outdoor foodstuff which attracts their attention, often followed by more extreme behavior smashing trash bins or even attempting to access semi-secured buildings.
You can call Fish and Game any time if you have a concern at 907-267-2100 and they will respond, but don’t think you can automatically expect bear removal protocols. You live in Alaska and so do the bears.
Note: Brown Bears are a completely different species with different habits and behavior, and to be treated with a lot more caution but, fortunately, rarely seen in the suburban residential areas.