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PETERSBURG (AP) — Two nuisance black bears that were lurking around Petersburg have been captured and relocated.
A 200-pound (91-kilogram) bear was caught Sept. 3 near downtown Petersburg after a slightly smaller bear was captured in August, KFSK-FM reported Monday. The bears were dropped off near Farragut Bay and Thomas Bay.
Petersburg is an Alaska Panhandle community of nearly 3,200 about 120 miles south of Juneau.
A poor berry crop, reduced fish runs or fish not being accessible to the bears could be causing the bears to look for food near populated areas, said Rich Lowell, a state Fish and Game wildlife biologist.
“Coming off of two to three years of very little bear activity, citizens have gotten complacent about securing their garbage,” he said. “So all of those things add up to more bear problems than we’ve seen in the past.”
Officials are urging residents to take measures to avoid attracting bears, especially hunters participating in the moose hunting season that begins Sept. 15.
“Obviously some people will be successful and have meat hanging in town and you know it’s important that the hides, bones and butcher scraps be properly disposed of ... often times they get dumped close to town, and it just further contributes to the bear problem,” Lowell said.
Information from: KFSK-FM, http://www.alaska.net/~kfsk/