ANCHORAGE (KTUU) Alaskans have been on edge this summer after a “busier than normal” year for bear encounters.
Ken Marsh with Alaska Dept. Fish and Game said the majority of bear issues are in relation to trash or human attractants.
Eric Stuart, BLM Campbell Creek Science Center School Programs Coordinator, said the Anchorage Bear Committee made up of multiple agencies held a bear behavior and safety class after hearing a desire from the public to learn more about safety.
“We heard a lot from the public they want more information, they want more opportunities to learn,” Stuart said.
Stuart said there are some key steps to remember.
“The most important thing to know about bear safety is travel in groups, make noise and carry deterrent and know how to use it, so if your’e in a group making noise you give bears an opportunity to avoid you, most likely they will,” Stuart said.
Community members also had a chance to learn how to safely use bear spray and practiced with inert spray.
Judy Senden, who lives near Rabbit Creek, brought her granddaughter, Blaine, to the event.
“I have six grand kids and we live in an area where there are bears in and out all the time so you know just looking to see if there’s anything new that you should know about bear behavior what’s going on this summer best ways to be prepared, so it was pretty good,” Senden said.
Blaine Senden said she enjoys hiking, but has never deployed bear spray.
“I’ve been taught how to spray the bear spray, but I’ve never actually used it so I don’t think I would have known what to do in a situation and learning when it’s an aggressive bear or non aggressive bear,” Senden said.