Discuss: Bear sightings

Have you seen any bears around town? Share your stories and locations and date of encounter and, if you have pictures, post them to the site.

NOTE: This is the 2008 forum. If you have a sighting from 2009, please post it here.

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  136     July 15, 2009 - 11:57am | akorchid

Black Bear

7/14/09 around Northern Lights across from Baptist Temple in condo area around 6:00 a.m. This bear has been hanging around and seen from time to time since June 30th. May wonder off Cheney Lake area and surrounding wooded area to hide during the day but seems to wonder around early morning.

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  135     November 2, 2008 - 2:36pm | AKBoxers

bear sighting off of Elmore

I saw a large black bear today while walking my dog (probably the same bear seen on 11/1) crossing 64th off of Elmore with a bag of trash in it's mouth. It headed toward the woods, and was about 6 houses down, from Elmore, on 64th.
People need to stop putting/leaving their trash out! This bear is obviousy going to stick around so long as there is trash to get into....

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  134     November 1, 2008 - 6:57pm | yoginijt

Black Bear in Ruth Arcand Park

Yesterday, while horseback riding in Ruth Arcand Park, the Equestrian Center off Abbott Road, we encountered a large black bear walking toward us on the trail. We stopped our horses, the bear turned around and walked away from us. We then also turned and walked in the opposite direction.

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  133     October 22, 2008 - 9:12pm | ptplace

Black bear on Candywine near Elmore and Lore. 10.22.08, 9.30 pm

A black bear systematically went through a row of houses eating trash tonight between 9.30 and 10. It was scared away by a friend pulling up in a car but it paused long enough to pick up a whole bag and run off with it into the woods.

I am buying a bear proof trash can this weekend.

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  132     October 13, 2008 - 12:31pm | jtotemoff

Elmore and Abbott

Ran off a black bear last Thursday, fairly good sized, must be the same one whos hanging near the Zoo.

Quick question, to those who have posted in the last few months about yelling at bears trying to feed on moose and their calves, are you aware you are interfering with the natural order of life feeding on life? And when that bear doesnt get the moose its trying for, its going to be hungrier and more desperate to get a meal? That meal might be your dog or God forbid, a human that finds itself in the bears path.
Let the bears feed on the moose, thats what they are supposed to do. At least they arent going for your garbage, right?

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  April 30, 2009 - 6:42am | dtigers528

Good post!!

Good post!!

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  131     October 10, 2008 - 10:40pm | yoginijt

They're not Asleep Yet

Yesterday saw yet another Black Bear. Third one in three weeks. I was working on my computer and he walked up the stairs to our deck and right in front of the window I was sitting at. He snooped around the deck, then went down the other set of stairs and moved into the neighbors yard...found trash there and sat down to eat. Area near the Alaska Zoo.

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  130     October 10, 2008 - 4:00am | paulcook

Dam, I'm so jealous!!

I'm so jealous! I'm from Scotland and I'm totally into bears. Born in the wrong country probably. Anyway, I've had a couple of memorable solo trips to bear country in the last 20yrs (British Columbia and then Alaska). Walking the trails was just the most exciting experience. It must be just amazing to live next to wilderness. You're so lucky! It will be a while before I can muster the cash to go for another trip. Until then, your accounts of bear encounters keep me enthralled!

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  July 13, 2009 - 9:59am | zidaralaska

No bears in Scotland

The Romans valued "Hibernian bears" for gladiator fights. By the end of the Roman occupation of Britain there were no more bears in Scotland. They'd hunted them all out. Consequently, there is no record of a single bear attack on a human in British history.

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  October 12, 2008 - 10:57am | somewhereIntime

I hear you..

Jealous as HELL....LOL

These people don't realize how lucky they are to be able to see these bears in their yard !!

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  129     October 3, 2008 - 1:27pm | LoriGo

Black Bear on Lake Otis

We saw a black bear run across Lake Otis, near 68th on 9/29/08..around 9:30 pm

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  128     October 1, 2008 - 10:14am | drand

Brown Bear Charging

I had a large, brown bear agressively charge me near my home on Friday afternoon. I was mountain biking with my dog on Moen trail; Barley and I have had many run-ins with bears this year but this was very different.

We were going downhill on Moen Trail. This trail connects Goldenview just south of Bluebell with Potter Valley Drive near the bridge. We were going slow downhill and making lots of noise as this is a “bear-y” area and the trail was sloppy from all of the recent rain. Barley, a Goldendoodle, was out in front by about 20’ and was wearing a bear-bell. I was yelling out so I wouldn’t surprise a bear.

I was about ¾ of a mile down the trail when I heard a ruckus up ahead: grunting/growling and crunching branches. I was expecting an ornery moose that have been prevalent lately. What I got was a 1000lb, angry, charging, brown-bear.

I was at a full stop and yelling when the bear came out of the alders roaring at me. I was straddling my bike going for my pepper spray that was strapped to my cross-bar. But the bear was litterally in my face before I could get the spray out.

I didn’t know if I should I punch it in the nose or continue to go for my pepper-spray. Instead I did neither. I stood my ground and yelled at it for all I was worth. Which was quite easy to do since I was scared silly and I really couldn’t go anywhere.

And just as quickly that it was in my face, it turned and ran off down the trail.

It all happened within seconds and inches.

Barley, who has chased off lots of black bears for me this summer, wasn’t as effective against a big brown. He apparently had doubled-back around me; as the bear turned off and ran down the trail Barley came from behind me and gave a couple of half-hearted barks and slowly trotted after the bear.

And that was the end of it.

The interesting thing was that I didn’t startle or surprise this bear. It heard me well before it saw me. Yet it still aggressively came at me. Rick Sinnott, the AF&G biologist thinks it was defending a moose kill which makes sense to me.

I don’t know what the lesson is here. I think more than anything I was lucky. But I did hold my ground. I will however, practice going for my bear-spray and be quicker on the draw. I did get the spray out as soon as it turned away from me, but I decided not to spray it in the ass; it was already retreating.

Have that pepper spray readily available and practice your quick draw!


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  October 3, 2008 - 1:25pm | LoriGo

Really Scary...

I wonder if it is the same brown bear we had in our yard in August....It didn't seem very hairy, but was really large, and really fat. We live off of Goldenview, on the North side of Rabbit Creek Rd.

I can't imagine being charged by one...I was shook up, just having it in our yard.

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  October 2, 2008 - 1:21pm | somewhereIntime


I can't imagine how scared you must have been !!
Sounds like you did the right thing, though.

You said it was 1000lbs. how do you know this ?
That is a BIG BEAR.
Was it standing up when it was in your face ?

What I would have given to see this !!
Glad you are ok and your dog !!

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  October 3, 2008 - 10:42am | drand

Thanks for your comments.

Thanks for your comments. I was quite scared and am still quite freaked out by the whole thing. When I say 1000# bear, that is my educated guess. I've seen a fair amount of big brown bears up close at Brooks Camp in Katmai and on the Kenai and of course at the AK zoo and Alaska Wildlife conservation center. I've also seen a lot of close-up black bears around our house and out on the trails.

The head on this one was large but not the largest I've seen. But it was a fully mature brown and it was very well-fed; in fact it was fat. When it ran off, it was shaking all around; its coat was rippling. So that's where I came up with #1000.

And the bear never did stand up. It was in charging mode. But its head came up to around shoulder height. His mouth was less than a foot from my right arm which was up and around the height of my chest. And it was slightly downhill from me.

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  127     September 26, 2008 - 1:12pm | yoginijt

Another Black Bear

Another Black Bear in our driveway this morning. Not the same one as seen on the 22nd. Again, we live near the AK Zoo. Did get some photos and will post them.

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  126     September 22, 2008 - 10:31pm | yoginijt

Black Bear

Large black bear on our deck this morning. Beautiful creature! We live near the AK Zoo.

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  125     September 9, 2008 - 2:58pm | klmredmond


On Labor Day we went up to Trailside Elementary School and down the gully to the Hillside Trail System. We did our run up to Hillside Ski area, around Besh Loop and back to the school. I got there before my husband and was waiting for him. After several minutes I started back down the gully to the trail and stopped when I saw a black bear sow and her cub on the side of the trail. I backed up and let her have the trail and after looking at me for a bit, she took off with her cub and another cub that was hidden at first. I was very happy when my husband came down the trail 10 minutes later after taking a wrong turn. Glad I didn't get between her and her cubs! Unfortunately, no pictures.

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  123     September 2, 2008 - 2:43pm | LoriGo

Black Bear #11

Saw a black bear getting into all the garbage cans that had been set out for pick-up on Monday morning...on 142nd.

No one else seeing bears these days?

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  122     August 20, 2008 - 8:48am | LoriGo

Bear #10 - This time it was a grizzly

We had a VERY large grizzly bear in the yard last night, off 142nd & Goldenview. It laid there eating clover...when my husband went out on the deck to video tape it, it just looked at him, and went back to eating. Not afraid at all....

Just like we have "City" moose, who have absolutely no fear, we now have "City" bears...once they find out we don't taste all that bad, it's going to turn into a huge problem. It is wrong that we can no longer feel safe in our own yard.

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  October 14, 2008 - 7:05am | ilikepolarbears

simple solution

Never be outdoors alone and always make sure you can run faster than your partner...

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  121     August 15, 2008 - 7:52am | anch_alaska

Bear Discussion

The other day i thought i would go for a jog down the new 48th Ave clearing that parallels tudor road from Boniface to Elmore. Guess what I saw a bear. With the new Elmore extension and the new activity on the 48th Ave extension, I wonder if this has displaced some bears? Elmore road crosses right through bicentennial and over the campbell creek. Elmore road has a fence on either side which creates a barrier for bears moving from east to west along campbell creek. And the new 48th Ave extension runs east and west running close to campbell creek. The new Elmore road and 48th Ave extension I think has displaced some bears. Any comments?

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  September 22, 2008 - 2:41pm | blatzrox

Yeah, all that's well & good, but.....


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  120     August 14, 2008 - 2:11pm | LoriGo

Black Bear #9

142nd & Goldenview...walked through the yard last night. It was a large adult...

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  118     August 13, 2008 - 10:59am | DoggyDoorman

Gov. Hill near Water Tower

Black Bear 11:30 AM HEADING UP from the square & Round Dance Center towards the water tower.

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  117     August 11, 2008 - 11:33am | Bow

Bear, Bear and more Bear

Mile 5 Eagle river road, July 5th, arrived home from grocery store to find black bear standing in my drive way. That brings the count to 5 black and one grizzly in last year and half. I have lived at this location for 32 years and the sighting are increasing.
After three mauling in Anchorage and Eagle River plus numerous missed attacks I wonder when the city is going to start darting these bears and moving them too less populated area. We don’t have to kill these animal but we do have to protect our children.
Are the mayor and the city going to wait until several small children are killed before doing something? Please don’t let some bar room macho Alaskan tell us that the bears were here first. There are plenty of wildernesses for them

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  116     August 10, 2008 - 4:44pm | joe_cool3269

Brown Bear in Eagle River

Was getting ready to go fishing this morning when a big old brown bear came from around the house. He looked like he was in a hurry and almost ran over the truck. Anyways I live on Teklaninka here in Eagle River.

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  114     August 8, 2008 - 10:19am | alaskahigh

Bears in yards, DeArmoun and Lake Otis area

8/04/08 to 8/07/08 One large black bear in yard, two days. Then next day a smaller one. These bears are not scared away by people or loud noises. The smaller one would not move off road so I could pull into driveway and park. I waited ten minutes for it to move. Honking the horn did not help. It finally sauntered away.

We have had a brown bear around this summer, also. We have no garbage out, no bird feeders and I feed the dogs inside. Have to keep dogs in large fenced kennel, now. I don't want them to go after one of these bears. I'm sure the bears could come into it if they chose to. With the recent attacks, Kenai, Anchorage, Juneau, having bears around, regularly, scares me.

The occasional bear, every few years, that we didn't see except for it's scat was okay. This seeing bears every summer and more than once is not okay.

I'm no longer comfortable in my own yard. We are at the end of the road and a bit secluded. I don't feel as lucky as some might want me to. I won't let my grandkids play in the yard.

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