Bears set off researchers' wildlife traps in Alaska

April 21, 2013 at 2:37 PM

FAIRBANKS, Alaska, April 21 (UPI) -- Wildlife researchers in Alaska looking to tag lynx and coyotes got more than they bargained for when a grizzly bear set off their trap.

The traps, set outside Fairbanks, are rigged to alert researchers when they are set off. The first time the alarm was sounded, University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher Knut Kielland went out to check. The trap had been set but no lynx or coyote was inside. A camera set up to monitor the trap captured a fuzzy image of a bear.

It was the first reported bear sighting of the spring, which has been a cold, snowy one leading many bears to remain in hibernation.

Kielland told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Saturday he reset the traps and left. A few days later, the alarm went off again. Kielland returned and found a similar scene: No lynx of coyotes but a lot of bear tracks in the snow.

Officials said as bears begin to stir from their winter-long slumber residents would be well advised to clean up their homes of any potential food sources.

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