Student Blogger, Amber: Don’t Get Too Close

For the past month or so, I kept hearing rumors about bears walking around on the beach within city limits and by houses in town. I haven’t actually seen them myself, but I believed them because it’s not uncommon for wildlife to sometimes pop into town out of nowhere. We do live by the ocean and have fish racks lining the beach near town, so anything is possible when it comes to hungry bears in the summer. Just last week, someone mentioned that they saw a grizzly bear at the playground at 4 am. I don’t know what it was doing there of all places. Maybe it wanted to play: swing a little, or climb on the monkey bars!

A few days later, my aunt said a bear passed by her house in the middle of the night. Her fish rack, filled with dried, smoked salmon, is all the reason a bear needs to visit.

I never worry about bears, even though I live four miles out of town (the only place we have trees in Unalakleet). People say that bears are in the area all the time and they have broken into a few cabins in my area. That doesn’t faze me because I think the more a person worries about bears breaking in, the more it may actually happen. I have lived in my house for two years now and have not had one issue with the bears or any other animals, for that matter. I guess I’m an animal repellent. I wish I could say the same about mosquitoes.

Yesterday after work I got a call from my boss saying that a small grizzly was killed on the beach after chasing some young boys who had been fishing. Immediately I picked up my son and took him to see the dead bear. I didn’t tell him where we were going at first, so that I could surprise him. Neither of us had seen a grizzly bear in our lives, so I thought it would be a great experience.

There were a handful of kids standing around the bear. My son walked out of the car and asked, “Mom, what are those kids looking at?”

I said, “We will find out if we walk down the beach and look ourselves.” So we walked on and approached the newly dead grizzly.

Keane didn’t go close, since he didn’t know what to make of it. He wouldn’t step closer than six feet from it. I told him to stand by the bear so I could take his picture. He did, but noticed the bear’s eye was slightly open. You could tell he was wondering if the bear really was dead. I snapped a picture quickly while Keane was cooperative. Our first encounter with a grizzly was one I’m sure neither of us will ever forget!

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