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Alaskan Bears Behind Rash of Break-Ins

They even seem to be smashing cabin windows for the heck of it
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2014 8:35 AM CDT
Alaskan Bears Behind Rash of Break-Ins
This file photo taken July 4, 2013, in Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska, shows a brown bear walking behind the Brooks Falls viewing area.   (AP File Photo/Mark Thiessen)

(Newser) – An environmental expert traveled 50 miles of Alaskan coastline last week, and every single cabin he encountered had suffered a break-in—by bears, reports Alaska Dispatch News. Though periodic bear break-ins aren't unusual, this season the creatures have bashed their way into "dozens and dozens" of cabins, a state wildlife biologist says. And they're "not going straight to kitchen. They’re causing a lot of mayhem,” says a US Park Service biologist. "It looks like a frat party occurred in there." Two possible reasons: The number of brown bears appears to be up this year, while berry growth is down. As a result, bears are heading to the coast looking for food.

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That's where they come upon the cabins, which are used as bases for subsistence hunting and fishing, says an environmental specialist. But the damage doesn't seem entirely food-related: In some cabins, every window was smashed, even tiny ones. "Maybe it’s like when people pop those bubbles in the packing wrap. You don’t know why you’re doing this, but you’re still doing it," he says. Experts are working to help locals bear-proof their cabins, the ADN notes. (One bear in Juneau tore through house siding to get his treat.)

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