Kodiak’s Bears Starting to Stir


Erik Wander/KMXT

April and May is the time of year when bears begin emerging from their dens after a long winter’s rest. It’s a gradual process that takes place over a couple of months, and Fish and Game says people should start taking precautions now and be on the lookout for bears.

Male bears begin to emerge from their dens at about this time of year, says Larry Van Daele, area wildlife biologist with Fish and Game. The males are followed shortly thereafter by sows with cubs. Van Daele said the males are already beginning to come out.

(Bears 1 20 sec. "Typically the males … when they’re starting to emerge.")

Van Daele said that while there have yet to be any bear sightings in town, at least one bear has been seen nearby. He said people can expect to see more bears in or near town soon, possibly within days.

(Bears 2 28 sec. "There haven’t been any … tracks or maybe some bears.")

Van Daele said the bears will immediately begin searching for food in the lower elevations and that people should take precautions, particularly when it comes to securing garbage.

(Bears 3 45 sec. "It’s time for them … staying a lot longer than usual.")

With similar late-spring conditions occurring again this year, Van Daele says he is hopeful that last year’s unusually high rate of bear activity in the area won’t repeat itself this year. He also said there may be fewer bears around this year.

(Bears 4 36 sec. "Hopefully we’ll be able to … to stick around for too long.")

Van Daele said basic precautions such as cleaning up your yard, not leaving garbage on porches and securing trash in closed bins go a long way toward avoiding contact with problem bears. He also reminds people to report any bear sightings to Fish and Game.


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