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.

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