Map, video plot activities of bears living among humans

2015-04-30 10:23

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Anchorage - A group of bears who make their home in the city of Anchorage, Alaska, have been busy rooting through garbage, eating from dog food bowls and even walking past a bear taxidermy mount, scientists tracking their activities said on Wednesday.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game put GPS trackers and collars fitted with video cameras on nine bears during a 2012-13 study, and have since made a detailed map of their shenanigans around the Anchorage area, home to about 300 000 humans.

The six black bears and three brown bears slept and frolicked in public parks, ate food from bird feeders and even made friends outside their normal social habits, according to the data.

"We often think of bears as solitary creatures," the researchers wrote on the website tracking the bears' movements.

"Some bears in the study spent considerable time in the company of other bears. Perhaps the most surprising of these was Bear 16, a black bear that crossed Cook Inlet to Fire Island and took up company with a subadult brown bear," it said.

One bear was captured on video snacking from dog food left inside an open garage. Another was discovered "eating trash in driveway while a woman passes by on street, sees bear and starts running. Don't run from bears!!" the website said.

Biologists are continuing to analyse data and what they learn will help inform how the Alaska Department of Fish and Game manages urban bears, the site said.

Read more on:    us  |  animals

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