Unwelcome grizzly cub closes Haines campground

Posted: Tuesday, June 27, 2000

HAINES (AP) -- The Chilkoot Lake campground was closed last week after a park ranger was unable to scare away an unruly brown bear cub that got into an unattended ice chest.

Bill Zack removed garbage bins and used rubber bullets, a siren and a blast horn to try to shoo the cub, but ended up turning out campers at 17 sites instead.

Zack said he's almost certain the cub is the survivor of a family of three cubs, two of which were shot by Haines homeowners May 23.

Bears have visited the campground frequently this year. After a monthlong closure, Zack had reopened the park to tent campers two weeks ago.

The cub got food from a chest and scattered the stove of two Canadian campers. They were fined $50.

Area wildlife conservation biologist Neil Barten said the cub's survival is probably a long-shot.

Barten said the cub will need negative reinforcement, such as pepper gas or rubber bullets, if it wanders near humans again, plus some luck at feeding time.

''It's going to be on the bottom of the pecking order when (the bears) line up along the river to feed,'' Barten said. ''It could survive if there's plenty of food and not much competition.''

Most brown bears stay with their mothers into their third year, he said.

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