The Department of Fish and Game announced that fresh bear cub tracks were found near the Indian River in Sitka. Residents reported hearing the bear early this morning (3-05-14).
Fish and Game biologist Phil Mooney says its best to avoid the area and let the cub find its way back to the den. They don’t want to risk waking a sleeping sow.
Mooney also says that despite low temperatures its not too cold for a bear. He says longer days and the location of the den site might have caused the cub to roam.
“The hibernation thing is more triggered by light than by anything, and this particular site is not what we would call one of our typical den sites for our alpha bears its definitely down in the valley here,” says Mooney. “So, it’s most likely a younger bear with her first set of cubs and she just picked a spot where she was probably out of the way from some bigger bears.”
Since natural food sources are scarce this early in the season, Mooney says the bears will turn to whatever’s available. He warns residents to secure garbage cans, outdoor grills, bird feeders, pet food – anything that could attract a bear. Also bears could start showing up on the trails. Early morning and evenings are the most active.
If you see a bear call the Sitka Police Department (747-3245) or ADF&G (747-5449).