A male black bear that had become habituated to people and their food was euthanized Wednesday in downtown Juneau.
The 250-plus pound adult bear was drawing a crowd near city hall about noon. Juneau police closed Shattuck Way and kept people at bay.
(The above video was produced by Pat Race of Juneau)
When Fish and Game biologist Ryan Scott got to the scene, the bear was on top of a building between the Emporium Mall and Miner’s Mercantile.
Scott says the bear was known by a yellow ear tag. He’d already been caught and relocated from Behrends Avenue this summer, only to keep coming back to town.
“Earlier in the summer it generated an enormous about of calls and took a lot of time while it was in the Behrends area. And then in the last couple of weeks it’s been generating more and more calls,” he says. “It’s the bear that was in the Foodland parking lot last Friday. It went into the yogurt shop and we were able to work with the police department to get it pushed out of the area up toward Cope park. Earlier in the day he had been out in front of the SOB and had gone into the parking garage. So it was a bear that was comfortable around people and constantly trying to find food.”
Scott says people are too quick to blame the bear, when it’s often people who are the problem.
He says especially this time of year people need to be sure there is no available food for bears.
“There’s quite a bit of bear activity in Juneau right now. Bears are very focused on eating, trying to put on energy reserves for the winter. So while it’s always important to control garbage or any other food attractant, it’s even more so now,” he says.