"We have a black bear that has been spotted at least 3 (that I know of) times in our neighborhood in east Anchorage. She does not act aggressive but has completely lost all fear of humans and traffic. On 7/15/11 my boss's wife (who lives a few streets over) reported seeing it walk down their street and check out garbage cans and various property. On 7/16/2011 I watched her walk right through the park adjacent to Pioneer drive off of Muldoon Road. She literally walked within 10 yards of a parent with an infant in a stroller. I followed the bear, along with two other men (who were taking pictures) and watched the bear enter several yards, and attempt to get into trash cans and other things. The bear continued east when I lost sight of her, which I hoped meant into the foothills outside of town.
On 7/20/2011, a neighbor informed me that he had seen it one street over the night before. Many people in the neighborhood were cleaning fish during this week, so I understood that.
Tonight, (7/26/2011) I arrived home from a church meeting around 9:30 and opened our garage door. I parked outside because I have a project going on inside the garage. I worked on this project briefly and then left the garage door open for ventilation of the chemicals I was using. I went inside briefly (approx 15 minutes) to eat something and went back to the garage to check on my work. The same black bear was inside my garage when I opened the interior garage door. The bear left, but in no hurry. I got in my car and again, followed her. I made a call to the wildlife troopers but got no response. 911 responded that they could not dispatch anybody because it was no emergency. I followed her to the end off my street where she entered another dense suburban neighborhood. She again, walked down the street and through various yards inspecting things and curiously checking things out. She cut off a man riding his bicycle with his dog, in the middle of the street. She showed no fear of the man or his barking dog but walked within 15 yards of them as if they were merely in her way.
I should mention trash day is Monday here so there was no garbage left to attract this bear.
At what point does shooting this bear become legally acceptable? She has yet to charge anyone or act aggressive, but she has clearly lost fear of humans and is routinely traveling through our neighborhood, obviously looking for food. Since the wildlife troopers or APD will not respond to or calls, what would justify shooting this bear (should she return again)? I am not looking for a reason to shoot an animal, but at this point I am beginning to fear for our safety (especially the children in this neighborhood)."
I submitted this to the ask a trooper forum, since the troopers didn't answer their phone and the APD essentially told me "well, thats nice." Has anyone else ever had to shoot a bear that wasn't charging you? What would you do at this point?
Seeing the bear 25 feet from a baby in a stroller was quite the sight. My son is 2 and likes to play outside in the front yard. I thought thats why bears don't belong in the city. If I wanted bears in my yard where my kids play, I'd move to Hope.