People's trash led to demise of big bear

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The huge black bear State Fish and Game euthanized Tuesday morning had become habituated to food it found in people''s trash.

    The bear had haunted the Switzer Village mobile home park in the Lemon Cree area for years.

    Area Management Biologist Stephanie Sell was asked during our interview with her how people contributed to bruin's demise.  She said a lot of people of leaving attractants out all over town.  She explained that there are places in Switzer where people don't have sturdy structures to put trash in so they store them in arctic entries, or perhaps sheds outside,  since they don't have garages.  "It's really easy for bears to find those food sources in these  unsturdy structures.   Bears get in there sometimes and the doors shuts behind them so they get locked in."

    That's what happened to this bear, she said.  "He ripped and chewed a hole out of the side of the wall."  She was able to dart it through a small crack on the opposite wall.  At that point, it busted out the back wall when it fell.

    Sell said the bear weighed 470 pounds.  "That's probably the biggest bear that we've handled here in the Juneau area."

    Sell said the decision was made to euthanize that particular bear because it was known to have a history of destructive behavior.

    It  had caused a lot of property damage and had been occasionally aggressive in its behavior.



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