Bear activity reported from Anchorage to Sitka
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Bears are active throughout Alaska, from Anchorage to Sitka, where one was killed after attempting to break into a kitchen after the homeowner baked a pizza.
The homeowner, Natalie Allen, opened a window after the pizza was done and sat down to read a magazine Tuesday.
That when she saw a bear at a high window, tearing at the screen with its claws. "I could see each and every one of those long claws!" Allen told the Daily Sitka Sentinel.
The bear got a paw inside the kitchen, grabbed the spray hose off the sink and chewed off the nozzle.
It then grabbed a bottle of dish soap and quickly put it down after taking a taste.
Allen said she panicked and then scrambled on all fours to back bedroom, where she called police. "I said: 'There's a bear trying to get into my kitchen window!' My heart was just pounding," Allen said.
She kept a wary eye out by cracking the bedroom door, and she ventured out once to get her elderly dachshund, Oscar, who slept through the ordeal — first on the sofa and then on the bed when Allen returned to the bedroom.
By the time police arrived, the bear was gone. Wildlife officials tracked and killed it for exhibiting bad behavior.
State wildlife biologist Phil Mooney said the bear prowling in the afternoon and breaking into an occupied residence made it a danger to the public.
In midtown Anchorage, KTVA reports a black bear and cubs have been seen repeatedly this week between the adjoining campuses of the University of Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Pacific University.
Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew said he ran into the bears on trails this week. The cubs were putting on a show, but people who gathered to watch were respectful of the bears, he said.
"Everybody I saw was doing just the right thing," Mew said. "A couple people just turned around and left, others stayed way back. Nobody is going to approach a sow with cubs. They knew to stay back."
The bears also went to Goose Lake, a popular beach near the campuses. Lifeguards cleared the beach without incident.
University police say the bears are well-known to them. Lt. Mike Beckner tells the Anchorage television station that the mother bear doesn't seem aggressive.
"But you don't want to go pet it. It's one of those things. You have to use good common sense. We are in Alaska. There's wildlife everywhere. But it's got two cubs, so it could become aggressive if it needs to protect its children," he said.