Bears spotted Saturday in Eagle River

Saturday, August 12, 2017 - 11:34
  • A bear digs into trash in an Eagle River neighborhood on Saturday, July 15, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Laura Simkins)
  • A bear hangs out in a yard near Echo Street in Eagle River on Saturday, July 15, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Laura Simkins)

Bears were spotted getting into trash in a neighborhood not far from the Bear Paw Festival grounds Saturday, July 15.

Laura Simkins lives on Echo Street, which is about a half-mile from downtown Eagle River. She recorded video of a black bear in a neighbor’s yard at around 3 p.m. Saturday, and said she hopes people will be wary of bears during the ongoing festival. Simkins said several bears had been spotted Saturday getting into bird feed and garbage cans.

“There’s a lot of people walking around,” she said Saturday afternoon after stopping by the Star offices.

The sightings came as thousands of people packed downtown for the 32nd annual festival, which was held under sunny skies Saturday.

A trip through the woodsy neighborhood where the animals were spotted didn’t turn up any bears, but there was garbage strewn across Adams Lane from an overturned can; neighbors sitting on a porch nearby said they hadn’t seen any bears, but had heard some were in the area.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has dealt with numerous bear incidents in Eagle River this summer, including a mauling near the Eagle River in June that left three people injured. Authorities advise residents to store garbage indoors and to not leave attractants such as birdseed or fish carcasses out where bears can find them.

We’ll update this story if more information about the bears becomes available.

Watch the video here:

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