ANCHORAGE, (KTUU)- July 4th arrived with another close encounter with a bear. The Anchorage Police Department says a woman camping in Centennial Park played dead when a black bear climbed on top of her tent. APD says food and trash were scattered around it.
“As far as camping goes in tents, don’t leave food in your tent, don’t leave even a candy bar there, it’s amazing how bears can smell things from a long distance,” said Ken Marsh with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
After two fatal bear attacks in Alaska and several more close encounters a local store reports a spike in bear protection items.
“Probably the number one item that we sell for bear protection is bear spray,” said John Staser, Co-owner of Mountain View Sports.
On Wednesday, there was just one bear bell on hand, “Every time there’s a bear attack we spike in bear spray sales,” said Staser.
Marsh said it’s good to see people are taking the bear risk seriously.
“They’re taking measures to let bears know they’re in the woods before they ever get to them and they’re bringing deterrence with them in case they do end up in close encounter,” Marsh said.
Marsh says both pepper spray and fire arms are effective and the best choice is the one you’re most proficient and comfortable with.
“If you’re not proficient with whatever deterrent you’re using you don’t have it handy to use the pray or gun right away it’s not going to do you any good at all,” Marsh said.