By Tommy Wells
Seward Phoenix LOG 

Residents need to be 'bear aware' with recent visits


September 14, 2017 | View PDF

Tommy Wells Jr./Seward Phoenix LOG

A black bear scrambles through the harbor area on Sunday afternoon. Several bears have been sighted in Seward over the past two weeks.

With the end of the summer season, another season begins on the Eastern Kenai Peninsula. Bear season.

That has become evident over the past few weeks as at least two black bears have made appearances in Seward. The most recent up-close encounter happened Sunday afternoon in the harbor area when a young bear wandered near J-Dock Seafoods and Chinook's restaurant.

The visits by the bears has prompted city leaders to urge residents – and any visitors still in the area – to be extra careful with disposal of food items and garbage. Bears are attracted by the smell of an easy meal.

"I'd like to remind everyone to be bear aware," said Seward City Councilman Eric Slater on Monday. "Be sure to dispose of any items the proper way. The bears are around."

Seward Mayor Jean Bardarson agreed, saying she had seen a bear near her home.

"Everyone should be aware they are here," she said.

According to a 2014 study by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the Kenai Peninsula has a healthy bear population, including more than 400 brown bears and a larger number of black bears.

According to the study, most black bears stay in the protection of forested areas but are easily enticed to enter into campgrounds and communities when food is available. The brown bears, or grizzlies, tend to stay in the more rugged areas of the peninsula or near the water along the Russian River.


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