Bear Sightings Increase on East End of Kodiak


Jay Barrett/KMXT
A few random bear sightings on the east end of town a few weeks ago has turned into a rash of garbage cart and Dumpster raids by hungry bruins. Just over the last weekend, there were a couple dozen complaints made to the borough code enforcement officer, city police, and Alaska Waste.
Rick Vahl is the Kodiak manager of Alaska Waste. He said the company is working closely with authorities so a consistent message is getting out to residents.

— (Vahl Bears 1 43 sec “It was last week that we had … discuss the Kodiak brown bear.”)

He said if Alaska Waste’s garbage truck drivers find an overturned roll cart, they’ll clean it up if it looks like a bear got into it. They’ll then notify the home office so Vahl can work with homeowners to reduce the appeal of their garbage cans to bears.

— (Vahl Bears 2 38 sec “We need to be creative in how we … going to keep everybody safe.”)

Vahl said a new bear deterrent method that has seen success in Canada is going to be tested on Dumpsters near Pillar Mountain Road. Ammonia-soaked sponges are going to be placed under the lids in hopes the acrid smell will keep bears away. He told KMXT’s Jay Barrett that if individuals would like to try the method on their roll carts, it’s easy to do:

— (Vahl Bears 3 39 sec “I think it’d be perfectly fine … activity out there as of yet.”)

The usual warnings about being careful when bears are in your neighborhood apply: keep pet food inside, keep your garbage out of reach, and use caution when walking during these dark mornings and evenings. If you spot a bear, notify the Kodiak Police Department so they can keep track of the bruins’ movements.

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