Alaskan Wildlife: Highlight on Bears!

A brown grizzly bear with tiny brown eyes

It is not uncommon to see many of Alaska’s finest animals, including brown or black bears, on JBER. Here are some tips to stay safe in your neighborhood.


  • Keep your distance (no selfies!)
  • Stay in groups: Bears are unlikely to approach groups of people.
  • Make noise: The worst thing to do is catch an animal off guard. Bear Bells are a great way to announce your presence.
  • Follow Aurora and JBER’s disposal regulations:
  • Do not leave trash cans sitting out by the curb.
  • Store trash cans in the garage.
  • Do not allow trash cans to overflow.
  • Remove bird feeders from yards.
  • Game cleanup must be done in your garage, not outside.


  • Feed them.
  • Run.


  • Snorting, lowered head, folded back ears, huffing, nodding head, crunching teeth.
  • Bears may charge and then stop short of contact to attempt to intimidate a perceived threat. Stand your ground if this happens!


  • Make noise, make yourself appear larger.
  • The general rule is to fight back; if the animal perceives risk, it is more likely to pull back. Aim for the nose, eyes, use a sharp or blunt object if you have one.
  • Spray bear spray in the path of a charging bear. Be conscious of wind direction!