"Black bear invades Boy Scout camp"

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 12:49

As printed in the Knik Arm Courier, July 27, 1966:

PETERS CREEK — A black bear and two of her partially-grown cubs have been frequent, if unwelcome, visitors at boy scout Camp Gorsuch on Mirror Lake this summer.

The most recent incident was reported by Dan Contini, Scoutmaster of Troop 54 of Palmer who were encamped at Gorsuch last week.

According to Contini, he first encountered the trio last Wednesday, when one of the cubs began helping himself to some of the camp food. When he began to chew the plastic water containers to get at the water, Contini picked up a stick of wood and proceeded to chase the bear away. The bear fled only a short distance, when he reconsidered and came at Contini, and the chase was reversed. Contini said that he was finally able to chase the bear into the bushes.

Later that week, the came cub entered the camp at night when the campers were asleep, and discovered one of the campers who was sleeping with his foot protruding from his tent. The animal proceeded to chew the boy’s air mattress and sleeping bag and actually bit the boy on the foot. The boy, Brian Leckwold of Palmer called out, and the startled bear then fled the camp, running through several other tents on his way.

Contini said that these three bears and two others have been around the camp all during the summer, and are getting to be increasingly fearless. He said that he is personally concerned that there may soon be someone seriously injured by one of the animals. He quoted one instance when a scout attempted to pet one of the curious cubs, and was bitten by the bear. He said the cubs are around two years old and quite dangerous. He has notified the Department of Fish and Game of the incident, but as of this writing no action has been taken.


This column is provided by the Chugiak-Eagle River Historical Society. Reach them at [email protected] or leave a message at 688-4706.

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