Bearly spring

Authorities are warning that bears are awakening from hibernation and the public should be aware of the potential conflicts – anywhere and at any time.

If you are out on the trails, or even walking in neighborhoods, be alert, pay attention to what is happening around you and carry a deterrent device, from bear spray to an air horn to a firearm.

Bears, after all, can be a dangerous problem. There were 66 bear attacks in Alaska from 2000–2017 and a half-dozen fatal bear attacks from 2008–2018.

When you run into a bruin, do not run. Experts say to stand your ground, make noise to alert the bear, and, if necessary, employ deterrents to drive off the bear.

With more people emerging after a year of being COVID-bound, there likely will be more people-bear encounters as Alaskans head to the woods this spring and summer.

Be careful. Be alert. Be bear-wise. The encounter you never have is the best kind to have.

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