Brown bears bother Dillingham residents Thursday

Jun 23, 2016

One bear ripped part of the siding and insulation from a cabin on Kanakanak Road, startling the sleeping 18 year old girl inside.

Aaron Hiratsuka stands by the damage caused by a brown bear attempting to get into his home Thursday, June 23.
Credit Spencer Tordoff / KDLG

KDLG: At least two bears have been disturbing Dillingham residents over the past two days.

18-year-old Perez Hiratsuka was home alone taking a nap Thursday afternoon when sounds just outside the family’s wooden cabin woke her up. 

“When I finally got the courage to get up and look at what’s going on, because neither of my parents were home, I looked towards the door and a big thump from behind me made a move," Hiratsuka said. "It shook the whole wall, I didn’t know what to do, I was scared to death.”

The bear tore a hole in the wall and tried to get inside. Hiratsuka grabbed an axe, left the house, and walked up to a neighbor’s house without incident. She saw the large brown bear just once, still trying to get in the hole it tore.

Perez Hiratsuka's dad, Aaron Hiratsuka, was at Gusty's Boat Yard working on a boat when he got word of the incident, and began running home as fast as he could. He was grateful to Diane Folsom, who picked him up and sped him the rest of the way to his driveway.

“I got down here, and I was hollering for my daughter and she wasn’t in the house. I didn’t know she’d gone up to the neighbors,” Aaron said. “That’s when I really started getting hysterical. I was looking for any kind of blood trails, anything,you know scared, freaking out.”

Animal Control Officer Dan Boyd, who responded to the Kanakanak Road incident, said the two bears have been causing trouble in different areas of town.

“We have a bear, a small bear, that is running around in HUD, Snag Point area, out to the Harbor, that’s where it’s been it’s been headed,” Boyd said.  “And this bear here has been terrorizing Bea Avenue, Arctic Boulevard, and now over here on Kanakanak Road.”

Both bears have been sighted numerous times Wednesday and Thursday. Fish and Game, State Troopers, Dillingham Police and other authorities have responded quickly to each location, but haven’t said if they plan to trap or kill the nuisance bears. 

Authorities are advising caution with children and pets, and recommend cleaning up anything that might attract bears into yards like trash, pet food, and especially fish guts.  

Bear sightings should be called in to Dillingham public safety at 842-5354.

We’ll have more on this story tomorrow on Bristol Bay and Beyond. 

ADG&G and DPD looking for the bear that ripped a hole in home on Kanakanak.
Credit KDLG