The Department of Fish and Game is urging Sitkans to remain vigilant about bears, after an incident last weekend on Green Lake Road.

Two brown bears startled a group of three hikers Sunday afternoon by the Medvejie Hatchery, forcing them to stay near the beach. State biologist Phil Mooney followed up on the police report, which stated that the hikers were charged by the bears, and determined that the animals were not aggressive.

sibling 3 yr olds at hatchery_3015PM (1)

(Photo courtesy of Phil Mooney, ADF&G)

Mooney believes that the bears were more likely curious. He says they walked past the trio and then headed back toward the road. The hikers called a friend with a boat to pick them up to avoid another encounter.

Mooney says a sibling group of five adult bears has been hanging around the hatchery, which is normal this time of year.

“You just need to be aware that the bears are still out and will probably be out for at least another month before they give up and head up the hill,” he said.

People should practice the basics of bear safety — hiking in groups and making noise, Mooney says.

“If they pop out on you, then stand your ground and talk to them. Make sure they know what you are,” he said. “Most likely they’re going to fade off into the woods and it’s not going to be an issue.”

The bears have been around all summer and are familiar with people, Mooney says. Fish and Game and state troopers responded to the report.