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Bear sighting livens up Anchorage area

May 27, 2012 at 2:20 PM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, May 27 (UPI) -- A black bear didn't go over a river but went to the woods after scampering through residential and industrial areas of Anchorage, Alaska, police said.

Police said residents spotted the small bear tooling around the area recently, then saw it scurry into the woods Saturday unharmed after officers tracked it for about 30 minutes following a report that a motorist tried to hit it, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

A vehicle was stopped after someone reported a man was driving aggressively toward the bear, Trooper Bret Ledford said. He said the driver was being investigated for harassing wildlife and could be slapped with a misdemeanor citation.

"Witnesses said he chased after the bear. He said it was to take pictures," Ledford said. "He doesn't even have a camera in his car."

Anchorage Police Sgt. Cameron Hokensen said the department's policy is to leave bears alone as long as they don't pose an immediate threat to humans.

"It just seems like whenever it happens, everyone flocks to the area," Hokensen said. "He just wants to get out of here."

Noting that summer was just under way, Ledford said, "We're going to see a lot more of this."

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