Lions Park trash cans lure family of bears

A mother bear and four cubs are spending too much time in Mountain View trash cans.

Jessica Coltrane, a biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, said the five bruins are a constant problem, feasting on trash in Lions Park and wandering into the surrounding neighborhood. She said Alaska Wildlife Troopers have written at least one citation for improperly secured dumpsters in the area; a $310 fine.

While Mountain View residents can face a steep fee for failing to keep garbage away from neighborhood bears, the public park on Pine Street features simple metal cans without lids. Coltrane said it’s up to the Mountain View Lions Club to replace them.

According to the Department of Parks and Recreation, the park is just south of some of Anchorage’s prime bear habitat. Rugby players at the neighboring Davis Park field recall a recent face-to-face encounter with the sow as she ran out of the woods onto the grass. The teams backed away, and the bear moved on.

But it didn’t go far.

With its playground, basketball court and about a dozen open garbage cans, Mountain View Lions Park remains popular with kids and wildlife alike. And that’s a big issue, Coltrane said.

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