March 6, 2009

Bears come out early in Alaska

Residents of the Anchorage, Alaska, area say black and brown bears have been seen walking around this week, nearly a month before the usual end of hibernation.

A snowmobile rider reported seeing a brown bear Saturday on the Fur Rondy trail in East Anchorage and a couple walking their dog in Anchorage's Bicentennial Park snapped a picture of a black bear the same day, the Anchorage Daily News reported Friday.

Amy Green of Anchorage said she saw a black bear wandering in her Hillside neighborhood Monday.

Wildlife biologist Rick Sinnott of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said the bears spotted this week have not shown any signs of aggression toward humans.

Really, moose are much more dangerous this time of year than bears are, he said.

Fish and Game researcher biologist Sean Farley said the bears may have come out early because something disturbed their habitats, or they might not have nourished themselves enough before going into hibernation in October.