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Bear breaks out garage window in Stuckagain Heights

Michelle Theriault Boots

A grizzly bear that is thought to have raided a half-dozen chicken coops in the past week continued its tour of the Anchorage Hillside with a break-in attempt at a Stuckagain Heights home over the weekend, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

A homeowner reported that a bear broke out a window on the side door of a garage Sunday night, said Fish and Game wildlife biologist Dave Battle on Monday. The homeowner had seen the brown bear prowling around his yard the day before, Battle said.

Battle said biologists believe a single, medium-sized bear is probably responsible for incidents over the last week but there's no way to know for sure.

"You never can tell but it certainly seems consistent with this one bear," he said.

Last Wednesday, the bear was shot by a homeowner after it tried to break into a chicken coop off DeArmoun Road.

Biologists tracked the wounded animal's footprints and blood drops but failed to find it.

In the next few days it hit at least five more chicken coops. None had the working electric fencing Fish and Game recommends.

At one point, biologists said, it feasted on a garbage bin full of meat left in a backyard.

Now the bear seems to be testing doors and breaking windows, not always at homes with obvious attractants like chickens or an outdoor meat cache, Battle said.

The Stuckagain Heights home had a bear-resistant trash can and dog food secured in the garage, Battle said.

The good news: The animal hasn't shown signs of aggression toward people.

"Whenever it hears a sound or sees someone, it skedaddles out of there," he said.

Lock doors and call Fish and Game if you spot bear tracks, says Battle.

"Any information to help us get ahead of bear is helpful," Battle said.

Fish and Game biologists will patrol for the animal tonight.

Reach Michelle Theriault Boots at mtheriault@adn.com or 257-4344.


By MICHELLE THERIAULT BOOTS
mtheriault@adn.com