We don’t know about lions or tigers, but CIRI apparently has at least one bear.
CIRI building workers returning to the office after Labor Day weekend spotted bear tracks across fresh pavement on the northeast corner of the CIRI parking lot. Resident bear expert Ryan York said rainy weather conditions suggest the bear visited CIRI either late Labor Day (Sept. 1) evening or early back-to-work day (Sept. 2) morning. York guessed the tracks were left by an adolescent brown bear about 6 feet in size.
It is not unusual for bears and other wildlife to visit midtown Anchorage. Police shot and killed a large grizzly on Aug 22 after it was hit by an SUV at 4 a.m. on the Seward Highway near Cal Worthington Ford. That 15-year-old grizzly was part of an ongoing Alaska Department of Fish and Game study of Anchorage bears.
ADFG biologist Sean Farley said in the Anchorage Daily News story about the accident that brown bears venture into Anchorage during the summer to feed on salmon and moose. He said the city’s black bear population gets more attention because those bears become a nuisance when they get into garbage, pet food, etc. Grizzlies generally look for their food along greenbelts and streams.
People using the city’s extensive trail system could be 50 yards from a grizzly and never know it, Farley said.
Be bear aware. Please tell the security guard immediately if you spot a bear near the CIRI building . . . or if you see a jokester running around the parking lot in big, fuzzy, bear-paw slippers.