Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Hey Bear


May 7, 2020

Courtesy of Joleen Reinke

HEY BEAR -- Joleen and Rob Reinke saw this bear wandering the beach at 6 Mile Lutak Road Wednesday morning while it scrounged for food at low tide. When the bear wandered toward their car, they started their engine in an effort to make sure the bear "didn't feel too comfy around humans," Joleen Reinke said. The bear played in a waterfall before taking a look inside their vehicle. Retired director of the Alaska Chilkoot Bear Foundation Pam Randles said she thinks the bear might have been kicked out by its mother last year. "If she is a she, she will have cubs in the next couple of years. She was there last year all year. I think she got kicked out. The normal kick out age is 3. They generally stay with their mom for two full seasons, then they get kicked out at the beginning of their third season." Many people traveling along Lutak have noticed the bear this spring. Randles advised onlookers to keep their distance and if the bear wanders up to your car, then sit still and let the bear go on its own. "Just sit there and don't antagonize or beep unless it gets aggressive," Randles said. Kathleen Menke said the bear is a female, and named it Smoky. She said she spotted it foraging last summer while her granddaughter was visiting and "the horizons were very smoky at the time." Menke said Smoky has adapted to foraging at low tide by turning over big rocks.

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