Madsen Bear Range Expands


Jay Barrett/KMXT

Bears on Kodiak Island do tend to roam a little bit, but often have a home range where they mostly stay. The Madsen Bear’s home range seems to be within a two-block range at the center of downtown Kodiak.

The Madsen Bear is the bear sculpture given to the city by the Madsen family. It stood for years outside the Harbormaster’s Office, but when the Fishermen’s Memorial was remodeled and expanded, the bear was displaced to Oscar’s Dock, near the gazebo at the end of the spit.

Now, it looks like the Madsen Bear is going to be moving again.

City Manager Linda Freed explains:

(Madsen Bear 1 20 sec "At the November … fish and wildlife service.")

The Refuge Visitor Center is just up the street from the spit, and features all manner of Kodiak wildlife inside. Councilman Jack Maker said he thought it would be a good new home for the Madsen Bear:

(Madsen Bear 2 25 sec "I just wanted to … do their business.")

The Madsen Bear statue was commissioned in 1957 by Alf Madsen to honor his father, Charles Madsen, a pioneering Kodiak bear guide. It was built by the Jonas Brothers of Seattle, and stood until after the 1964 earthquake and tsunami in front of the Kodiak Hotel. Afterwards, it was donated to the city and stood in front of Fisherman’s Hall for many years.

There is no timeline yet for moving the statue, but visitor center manager Tina Shaw says she’s exited to get the bear.


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