I live in Alaska, and I know that there are a lot of bears around where I live. It is exciting to see them, but it also makes you a little uneasy when one is hanging around your neighborhood. Yesterday a grizzly appeared in our driveway. That’s him (or her) in the photos above. He’s a small and skinny grizzly. Probably his mother just kicked him out. They stay with the mom anywhere from 1 1/2 to 3 years. So who knows, he’s probably somewhere between 1-3 years old. The problem with him is he doesn’t seem to be scared of people. I stood on the deck and yelled at him and banged on the railing, and he just looked at me. Eventually, he wandered up the driveway, and slowly walked up the street, stopping to eat grass along the way. Another neighbor had him come closer instead of running away when she yelled at him. Dogs finally got a whiff of him and ran him off. 3 or 4 hours later, I went to take my dog out on a leash, and he popped up in the grass maybe 20 or 30 feet at the most from me. Even with a bum foot, I can run. You’re not supposed to run from them, but it’s hard not to act upon that instinct. Especially when you’re close to the garage and door inside. Then just a few minutes ago, I hear a few dogs barking and I look out the window, and here he comes again. Sniffed around the boat, and again slowly meanered up the driveway until again, some dogs chased him away.
Someone asked me how many people a year are killed by bears in Alaska. I did a google search, and from the information I found it looks like an average of 1 per year. And an average of 6 per year are injured. I guess we can’t expect those encounters not to happen when we build in areas of bear habitat, but I can assure you that my neck hurts from how much I have to turn it to keep watch around me this time of year!