Kodiak brown bears chewing on communication cables

Posted: Thursday, December 14, 2000

JUNEAU (AP) -- Brown bears on Kodiak are playing havoc with the Coast Guard Communication Station's antenna field.

Bears have been puncturing pressurized cables that carry essential communication signals to antennas, where they're sent to boats and aircraft along Alaska's coast.

Technicians noticed the problem on Dec. 3 after readings indicated holes in the line. They found a line mangled and impossible to repair, as well as distinct bite marks.

Bears chew cables every year, but this time chewed a long length that will cost $20,000 to replace.

A state biologist told the Coast Guard that the plastic coating on the cables attracts the bears. The biologist likened the chewing bears to a dog playing with a sock.

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