Animals that live in AK

Okay, I am not going to talk about every single animal in AK. I will discuss the ones you are more likely to encounter more often. The animals I am going to talk about are Moose, Grizzly Bear, Black Bear, Beaver, Otter, Whale, Loon, and Bark Beetles.

Moose –

These beautiful creatures are the size of large draft horses. They are very strong and very fast. Here are some good facts to know about these animals.

 1) They shed there horns in the winter

 2) Mother moose are aggressively protective over there claves

 3) You can hunt them. At a certain time and in a certain way.

 4) DO NOT feed these animals. It is against the law.

 5) They can and will walk through the neighborhoods and your backyard.

 6) They cross major highways

 7) When a moose gets hit on the road and dies we have a list of people and whoever is next on that list gets the moose for meat.

 8) They are incredibly quite

Story – 

I have a wilderness med teacher who is a trail runner. She just recently got a gun to take with her running. I do not remember what kind. She always takes one of her dogs with her. As she was trail running this moose was chasing her. At the time she had not idea why and wove in and out of trees trying to keep objects in-between her and the moose. Her foot caught a root from a tree and she tripped. The moose kicked as she put her arms up the hoof hit the inside of her lower arm. She saw the moose’s calf not very far away and pulled out her gun and shot in the air to scare the moose away. It worked and the dog pursued after the moose for awhile.

That is what I remember of the story.

Bear –

  I am going to put both of these bears together to make life simpler.

 1) Black bears are more aggressive than brown bears

 2) Most of them will leave you alone if you leave them alone.

 3) We have a pepper spray that was put on steroid called Bear spray, or bullets made specifically to kill bear.

 4) We also have something called Bear Bells. If you make enough noise for the bear to hear you it will normally go the other way

 5) Bears have been known to destroy vehicles retrieving food that was inside of them. So I would keep you vehicle clean of any food products.

 6) All bears Hibernate in the winter.

Stories – 

  1. One time I was out on the four wheelers with my family. I was passenger on my moms. We had three four wheelers in total. The front one had My dad and lil brother. The second one had my two triplet sisters. Then there was me and mother. We all had walkie talkies. The passengers were the ones in charge of communication. 

 I was talking to one of my sisters on the radio when I looked to my left. There almost right next to us was a baby black bear. I was shocked and somewhat worried because I did not see the mother.  I told my mother to keep driving because I saw a cub. My mother was shocked. I told everyone to not stop for awhile until we were far enough away from that cub.

  1. This story was told to my by  my Water Search and Rescue Chief. Him and a few buddies went camping one night. If I remember correctly they rafted out to there destination. One of his buddies was younger, he had just bought a new tent. They were all sitting next to the campfire chatting when they heard a loud rip noise towards the tents. They got up and walked over there slowly scarring off whatever made the sound. When they got to there buddies new tent there was a long tear right text to the zipper. They heard this loud crying noise. My chief recognized the sound, It was a bear cub. The cub was the one responsible for the tear. Chief told them all to go sit down next to the fire, the mother will come get her cub and probably just leave. As they continued there talking the cub continued its crying until they heard a loud noise near the tents again. So a few of them got up and walked over there. At first they did not see anything. Then a large head emerged from the bushes. one of the younger unexperienced guys took a shot at hit and the bullet glided right above the bears head. The bear roared in disapproval. Then left to go find her cub. Chief was really excited that she did not attack them due to that guy taking a shot at her. They did not hear from her or her cub after that.

Beaver – 

The chance of you seeing one of these depend on where you go. I have seen there houses and chewed on logs. I think I have seen one swimming. Other than that I think that it is not often you actually get to lay your eyes on these. You are more likely to see an otter than a beaver. Beavers are nice to have around but they can be a little destructive to the environment because the chew many trees down to damn up places and build there houses. the entrance to there homes is under the water. They live off of fish and other things. Past that you are gonna want to do further research on these great creatures.

Otter – 

We have these great creatures called sea otters. you will see these cute guys floating around in the docks of homer, Seward One of the coolest things I know about these creatures is that they will hold each others hands as they nap floating so that there friends do not float away from them as they nap. I have seen them swimming in the cooler part of the season. They are great little guys that you may see on your glacier cruises or just sitting on the docks one day.

Whale – 

If I understand correctly the whales migrate down to Mexico during the winter. These mammals feed mostly on krill. Depending on when you take that glacier cruise you may see a whale as well. Right now we have had several of these creatures wash up on shore dead for unknown reasons. Other places they migrate are seeing dead whales washing up as well.

Loon – 

last but definitely not least is the loon. This awesome bird, ( I think it looks like a duck) has a loud noise when it calls out. It is very pretty. It reminds me almost of the sound coyotes made down south. If you are near a body of water and see that bird, you have fish in that water. These birds feed off of fish. We have some that live on my family’s lake in Kenai.

Bark Beetles – 

These bugs are probably the most irritating insects I have met up here. They burrow there way into out spruce and kill them from the inside out. It is such a widespread problem right now that we hope the fires we are experiencing kill the majority of these pests. We have had to close certain parks and other places due to these dead spruces falling. You can tell if the spruce is dead due to the bark beetles if the tree is turning brown. If the spruce is not brown then something else is killing it. We have not found any chemical or any repellent that will get rid of these insects. Until then we are stuck cutting the trees that are infected with these insects in the winter when they hibernate and burning them.

This Girl

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