Tag Archives: Phil Mooney

Sitka bear task force tackles ‘trash caches’

ADF&G has identified 10 locations around Sitka where bears are taking garbage bags to sort their "loot." This bear was caught in the act in a Sitka neighborhood last summer. (ADF&G photo/Phil Mooney)

The Sitka Bear Task Force has organized work parties to tackle several bear caches — the places around town where brown bears have been dragging garbage bags over the years, to sort through their loot undisturbed. Alaska Department of Fish & Game biologist Phil Mooney says cleaning up these so-called “trash caches” is no small job. “Over the years you’ll get some places where you’ll have 2 and 3 pickup loads of material that’s piled back in there,” he says.
more

Nose to snout at Sitka’s Fortress of the Bear

All of the bears at the Fortress of the Bear were orphaned as cubs, and would otherwise have been euthanized.

A decade ago, when a Sitka couple proposed creating a bear rescue center from the remains of Sitka’s decommissioned pulp mill, the plan raised some local hackles. Ten years later, the Fortress of the Bear is home to five brown bears and two new black bear cubs — and it’s about to embark on a major expansion, building a black bear enclosure this winter. more

Bears coming out of hibernation, hungry

bears250

In their natural environment in early spring, bears subsist mainly on grasses and sedges, which Biologist Phil Mooney calls a ‘dry salad’ compared to the buffet of steak and seafood options available around humans.
more

Goat survey finds “glacier deer”

WhiteDeer2-1

Alaska Department of Fish & Game biologist Phil Mooney was tagging mountain goats on Baranof Island outside of Sitka in late August and saw the unusual animal from his helicopter.The Sitka black-tailed deer is a buck, still in velvet. The animal is a very light, bluish gray. When a black bear has this kind of coloring, it’s called a “glacier bear.” more