Friday, January 9, 2009

Bear Island

Last night on PBS Hubby and I saw a documentary called "Bear Island" which is, of course, about Chichagof Island. (That's the island we live on folks.) I knew this island had the highest population of costal brown bears (aka grizzly bears) per square mile of anywhere in North America. Well, now I can give you numbers.
Square miles on Chichagof: about 2000
People on Chichagof: 1100
Freakin Huge Bears on Chichagof: 1600

Now see, don't you feel educated?
And aren't you glad that you don't have to wear a bear bell every time you go outside? (naw, we don't really do that either...just after dark, or outside of downtown, or if you didn't clip a bell to the dog, or if you didn't bring your rifle on the hike with you...)


Becky N. said...

That's some crazy numbers!!! I can't very well imagine what living in a place with more grizzlies than people would be like.

And seriously? A bell to scare big ol' massive bears? Does that actually work??

Mommy Bee said...

The noise of the bell alerts the bear that you are coming, and since the average bear is non-confrontational, they just get out of your way. I'm sure I've been near several bears since being here, and I suspect they've seen me, but I've never seen them.
If you manage to surprise a bear, or scare him, you don't use a bell, you use bear spray, and you pray HARD and FAST and get out of the way.

Becky said...

That gives me the shivers!

Karen V. Stefanini said...

I'm one of precious Knut's across the Atlantic aunties and thanks to him I have become an avid bear fan. After reading about famous beloved Kodiak 9'6" Bart, I have learned to adore bears. Buffy the black bear family pet of over 24 years has also won my heart. I am shocked at the numbers of grizzlies though in your area. I don't agree with harvest hunts as they often are done by less than proficient hunters causing bears prolonged suffering, but if tags indicating age and limitations were instituted, perhaps this could be done by expert marksmen or better yet, hopefully some form of hormone laced bait could be used to curtail overpopulation. I admire your magnanimous attitude toward these often unpredictable giants. I now donate a fortune to bear protection groups to buy land for safe habitats for them, but I can't see how people can live in bear territory. I have read that black bears actually open people's doors and walk straight to the refrigerators, take food and proceed to walk out the door with it!! Bears are considered by many researchers to be as smart as the great apes, and it doesn't surprise me at all!!

by: Karen V. Stefanini,
Beautiful Back Bay, Boston, MA

Jess said...

that is awesome that you live on bear island!! How cool is that!!! Love the pics.... and wow on the numbers!!

Blog Buddy said...

I was born and raised in Anchorage in the 70's. I tell my kids about walking to the bus stop with a flash light and my noisy dog. We'd see more deer & moose in the mornings, than bears. But it was dark when I left and dark when I came home. I think that's why I'm able to go hiking now at 5 in the morning-here in Utah. It's peaceful and I have far less chance of meeting a bear!!

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