Alaskan city invaded by multi-colored bears
Alaskan city invaded by multi-colored bears A life-size, fiberglass bear statue painted as a birch forest stands in front of a business, All About You Medical Spa, on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016, in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP Photo/Dan Joling)
Alaskan city invaded by multi-colored bears
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Alaska's largest city is home to more than 300 grizzly and black bears - and now more than a dozen multicolored ones.
Life-size statues painted by city artists for a public art installation called "Bears on Parade" are popping up as part of an effort to raise awareness that if you live in Anchorage, you live near bears.
"The whole point of this was to engage in conversation about bears and their habitat - the food that they eat, where they live," said Brenda Carlson. She is a tourism official. She helped organize the program.
Anchorage is a city that spans 1,958 square miles. People occupy only about 204 square miles, according to the state Department of Fish and Game. The rest of Anchorage includes national forest, a state wildlife refuge, 55 to 65 grizzlies and 250 to 350 black bears.
Bears can be deadly if they are surprised. The department's Anchorage Bear Committee, which is dedicated to bear conservation, tries to educate people about how to live alongside the animals.
"Not all bears eat salmon," said Carlson, also a committee member. "Some eat berries, depending on where they are. We really wanted it to spark conversation about the bears."
The panel wanted to coordinate the installation of statues with a summer conference of 700 international bear scientists. They were brought to Anchorage by the International Association for Bear Research & Management.
Carlson reached out to America's Fiberglass Animals of Seward, Nebraska. The organization has helped create more than 300 public art projects with fiberglass sculptures.
Fifteen bears arrived by flatbed truck looking like polar bears. They were completely white. Sponsors paid either $1,750 or $3,000 for bears. So far, 13 have been painted, sealed and erected.
Artists received loose instructions. The adornment had to be family-friendly. And it had to reflect the beauty of Alaska, Carlson said.
One bear has a birch forest painted on its side. Others are painted with rivers, wildflowers or the northern lights. A bear sponsored by an ice cream shop has a tongue that appears to be licking ice cream off its face.
"I love that tongue," Carlson said. And, it could fit into the theme of what a bear should not eat - human food.
"Make sure your trash is put away. Because that trash bear will be a problem," she said.
The statues arrived too late for the early summer bear conference. But some scientists will benefit. The committee is donating nearly $8,000 from statue sponsorships to the next conference to cover scientists' expenses.

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Why are the life-sized statues brightly colored, instead of brown or black?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • austinm-stu
    9/27/2016 - 03:03 p.m.

    This is cool because it adds color to there town.It's boring having just a black,brown,white bears around when you can make something cool.and colorful

  • calebs1-stu
    9/27/2016 - 03:07 p.m.

    I found it interesting that the sculpter bears were colored instead of brown or white or black. It it adds color and ideas to the town.

  • ellies1-stu
    9/27/2016 - 03:38 p.m.

    That is really awesome how the made those sculptures. I wonder how a bear would react when they saw one of those sculptures. Maybe they would act differnt arount them or maybe act like it was alive

  • kirshaunm-orv
    9/27/2016 - 05:43 p.m.

    I think the life sized statues are brightly colored instead of brown or black because the bright colors are more catching to the eye. Since ,the bear statues are used to show people who live in a certain area they have real bears near them. If the statues were painted black or brown I don't think you would have as much of an interest about knowing what the bear means I think you would just think it was a statue for your city.

  • bellap-stu
    9/28/2016 - 07:56 a.m.

    I really liked this article. I found it very creative! I would love to see the Bears on Parade. I would love to paint a bear too. Yet, they are very expenceive which is kinda reasonalbe.

  • joev-stu
    9/28/2016 - 01:05 p.m.

    It is really cool that alska is home to over 300 grizllys and now muktied colored ones are invading alska.

  • belindav-stu
    9/28/2016 - 02:55 p.m.

    cool i love art and color

  • joshk-stu
    9/28/2016 - 08:48 p.m.

    ther are over 300 blake bars in the regon they donĀ“t all eat samon. the city spans 1,958. the things they eat bares.

  • tliam-dav
    9/29/2016 - 09:04 a.m.

    In response to "Alaskan City invaded by multi-colored bears I agree that it is cute yet scary about these enormous beasts entering The Alaskan City. One point of evidence is, "Artists recived loose instruction. The adornment had to be family friendly.

  • joeg-orv
    9/29/2016 - 11:05 a.m.

    he bright colors bring life and attention to the bear.

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