Responsible Adults Can Reduce
Kids' Risk of Eagle River Bear Encounters


Letters to the Editor / Anchorage Daily News / April 27, 2004


I would like to point out to my friends and neighbors of Eagle River the risk we are putting on our young people when we leave our garbage out near the street the night before garbage pickup day. It is a known fact that black and brown bears moving up and down the river venture up into our neighborhoods in search of easy food.

For us busy adults, urban bear encounters are minimal. Each day we hit the garage door opener and head off to work or to run our daily errands. We come home, hit the garage door opener and walk into the house. We might then walk to the mailbox, do some yard work or take the dog for an evening stroll.

Many children have a higher exposure rate to urban bear encounters as they walk to and from school each day. Younger elementary school-age children from kindergarten through third grade may not recognize or comprehend a potential dangerous encounter with a wild animal. At this age they cannot process the information needed quickly enough to get themselves out of a dangerous situation once in it.

Summer is just around the corner and soon children will be playing outdoors all day long with their high-pitched laughter, voices and yelling as they enjoy childhood.

Life is full of risk; it always has been and always will be. We can eliminate some of that risk to our young neighbors by not inviting bears into our neighborhoods in search of easy food.

-- Anthony Adams / Eagle River

 



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