Dumpster Bear Shot at Sargent Creek

Jay Barrett/KMXT


A 750-pound Kodiak brown bear boar peers out from a dumpster in Bell’s Flats, moments before he was shot and killed by Alaska State Troopers. Repeated attempts to scare the bear away failed. Note the bent steel "bear-resistant" door the bear pried open to get in. Trooper photo

The Alaska State Troopers, in consultation with the Fish and Game wildlife managers, shot a large problem bear in Bell’s Flats on Sunday. Fish and Game biologist Larry Van Daele announced the shooting Wednesday morning.

The 750-pound male bear had been scared off several times with non-lethal rounds and loud shots called "cracker shells," but kept coming back to the large "roll-on" Dumpster at Sargent Creek. Van Daele says the bear had started bending open the bear-resistant doors to the dumpster to get inside. A photograph supplied with the press release showed the bear peering out from inside. Van Daele said that he and the Troopers agreed the bear needed to be put down. It’s the first problem bear shot in the Kodiak City area this summer.

The bear was about 12-years old, but despite his age, this is the first year he has gotten into this kind of trouble. Van Daele suspects a slow and late berry season may have prompted the bear to find food in Dumpsters, and was rewarded well enough for his efforts that he kept coming back for the easy meals.

Bears are seen frequently fishing in the small rivers in Bell’s Flats, and Van Daele says there are more in that area, around the Coast Guard Base and the Buskin River that are getting easy meals from unsecured Dumpsters. He said Fish and Game is working closely with Alaska Waste to put bear-resistant dumpsters where they’re needed, but he reminds residents that they only work if they are closed properly.

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