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Anchorage

Black bear gets into trash, scurries up tree in Fairview neighborhood

A black bear that rummaged through trash at a home in the Fairview neighborhood, about a mile from downtown Anchorage, on Wednesday afternoon and then was chased up a tree by responding police, has avoided capture.

Biologists decided it looked comfortable upon its perch and would likely wander back into the woods on its own, said Alaska Department of Fish and Game spokesperson Ken Marsh.

"It's shown no signs of aggression," Marsh said.

Anchorage Police Department Sgt. Cameron Hokenson said the initial report about the bear simply noted it was on the home's porch.

Then it went for the garbage, Hokenson said. At one point the bear was inside the overturned trash can.

Anchorage police fired nonlethal rounds to try to scare it off.

It ran around the home, and then went up the tree, Hokenson said.

The sergeant noted the trash was properly secured with a lid, but its contents were giving off a smell. The bear appeared to know what it was after, Hokenson said.

More than a dozen people gathered to watch the bear during the late afternoon, but the crowd disappeared as 5 p.m. approached.

Fish and Game biologists stayed for more than an hour, watching and assessing the situation. A metal crate punched with holes sat in the bed of the truck the biologists arrived in. They left when the bear stayed put.

The biologists were reluctant to dart the bear because it was high in the tree, Marsh said. There was also a truck underneath it, and a fall could have damaged the vehicle and killed the bear, he said.

Biologists said it's not a problem bear, not one they've seen before. Several bears pop up in the area occasionally having wandered off the greenbelt along Ship Creek, down the bluff and several blocks to the north, Marsh said.

"We just want to give it space and let it come down on its own, and hopefully it will return to the Ship Creek corridor," he said, adding that's what bears tend to do in similar situations.

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