Police, neighbors help free stuck bear

These bear videos have happy endings.

A black bear that appears to have been briefly trapped or stuck in a Mendenhall Valley home attachment was freed Tuesday evening and the release was caught on video.

Mendenhall Valley resident John David was home with his triplets on Tuesday, a day with an unusually high amount of bear activity in his neighborhood off Valley Boulevard.

“It was weird. We had four bear sightings that day,” David said.

About an hour after a mother and cub came through his yard, David heard loud noises from a storage unit attached to a neighbor’s home across the yard. “It sounded like they were knocking down a wall,” he said.

Moments later, David told the Empire in a phone interview, Juneau Police Department officers were on scene. David captured the scene on video on Tuesday, and shared the cellphone footage with the Empire.

The video shows two people and a Juneau Police Department officer working together to release the bear from what David described as a neighbor’s storage unit. A man in a red shirt holding a shovel stands at the door of the storage unit in the video, a JPD officer a few feet behind him. The man in the red shirt opens the door, and a black bear bolts out of the storage unit.

David said he doesn’t think the mother bear and the trapped bear were the same bear. The mother was “hefty” while the trapped bear was “scrawny,” he said.

JPD didn’t respond to phone messages left Tuesday with the supervising officer.


• Contact reporter Kevin Gullufsen at kgullufsen@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @KevinGullufsen.


More in News

The Aurora Borealis glows over the Mendenhall Glacier in 2014. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Aurora forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of Jan. 22

David Holmes digs through a pile of boardgames during Platypus Gaming’s two-day mini-con over the weekend at Douglas Public Library and Sunday at Mendenhall Public Library. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
Good times keep rolling with Platypus Gaming

Two-day mini-con held at Juneau Public Library.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Juneau man indicted on child pornography charges

A Juneau man was indicted Thursday on charges of possessing or accessing… Continue reading

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire 
Juneau’s municipal and state legislative members, their staff, and city lobbyists gather in the Assembly chambers Thursday meeting for an overview of how the Alaska State Legislature and politicians in Washington, D.C., are affecting local issues.
Local leaders, lawmakers and lobbyists discuss political plans for coming year

Morning meeting looks at local impact of state, national political climates.

This photo shows pills police say were seized after a suspicious package was searched. (Juneau Police Department)
Police: 1,000 fentanyl pills, 86 grams of meth seized

Juneau man arrested on felony charges.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Friday, Jan. 27, 2023

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Captain Anne Wilcock recieves the Emery Valentine Leadership Award at the 2022 CCFR awards banquet on Saturday, Jan. 14. (Courtesy Photo / CCFR)
CCFR honors responders during annual banquet

Capital City Fire/Rescue hosted its 2022 awards banquet earlier this month as… Continue reading

A resident and his dog walk past the taped off portion of the Basin Road Trestle after it suffered damaged from a rockslide earlier this week. The trestle is open to pedestrians, but will remain closed to vehicular traffic until structural repairs are made, according to city officials. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Rocky road: Basin Road Trestle open to pedestrians, remains closed to vehicles

City officials say repairs are currently being assessed after damaging rockfall

Most Read