|Picture taken yesterday morning in Denali.|
Bears that wake up hungry after a long winter’s nap aren’t as big a problem in Fairbanks as they are in other bear-infested cities like Anchorage and Juneau but state wildlife officials say it’s still a good idea for Interior residents to do some spring cleaning around their homes to dissuade any ursine intruders.
“We haven’t had as many problems in Fairbanks as Anchorage,” Alaska Department of Fish and Game spokeswoman Cathie Harms said of Alaska’s largest city 360 miles to the south, where it’s not uncommon for bears to be shot each spring for getting into garbage, tearing down bird feeders or ravaging neighborhood chicken coops.
“With that many bears in urban areas and bird feeders being such an attractant it’s a pretty big deal,” she said.
The department issued a press release on Tuesday noting that Gov. Sean Parnell has declared April “Bear Awareness Month” and reminding Alaska residents to take down bird feeders, clean up garbage, and store pet and livestock foods indoors or in bear-resistant containers. The release “was written from an Anchorage perspective” but applies to the Fairbanks area, too, said Harms.
As a lifelong Alaskan living in Anchorage, I have a few hard and fast rules in the spring.