"We would like the public to know that the department views this less as an effort to give the bears another chance than it is to give the Anchorage residents another opportunity to shore up their trash and generally become bear aware to prevent these situations in the future," he said.
The department is advising residents - and all people who live near bears - to make sure trash cans are indoors or bear-proofed, bird feeders are taken in and domestic animals' food is kept indoors.
"This was totally preventable," David Saalfeld, a Fish and Game biologist, noted. "Those bears were rewarded repeatedly with garbage and they weren't going to stop coming back ... [and] people weren't respecting the bears' space."
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