You can’t always depend on bears acting as might be expected, as evidenced by a bear encounter on Saturday, according to the Peninsula Clarion. A bicyclist camping at Lower Ohmer Lake was awakened by a black bear stepping on her tent, said Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Deputy Manager Steve Miller.
“She made noise, the bear ran off,” Miller said. The bear didn’t get any food from the site, returned briefly, but hasn’t hung around there since.
Four days before the incident, another black bear with three cubs had torn into an unattended tent in Anchorage’s Centennial Campground, puncturing a two-liter bottle of soda that had been inside – the sixth recorded incident of those four bears going after human food, according to the Anchorage Daily News. The next day, biologists from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game shot the bear and cubs. The incident at Lower Ohmer lake is different – for one thing, the bicyclist had no food in her tent.
“We don’t know exactly what led to it, because in this case the lady had done everything right,” Miller said. “She was traveling by bicycle (with) her food and other smelly items, (so) she’d asked the adjacent campsite if she could put them in their vehicle, and stored everything there that night. So the attractant wasn’t anything food-related. Who knows what the bear was thinking at the time?” The bear did not smell the food properly stowed in the vehicle.
Bears that come to see campgrounds as easy food sources are the ones that become problems. “You see the signs around the campgrounds: ‘A fed bear is a dead bear.’ That’s what we don’t want to happen,” Miller said.