Wolf Song of Alaska News

Electricity Ensured Safety

Letters / Anchorage Daily News / August 6, 2008


Rick Swisher's letter ("Wildlife biologists can be meal too," Aug. 2) accuses me of "sheer arrogance" for being too close to the fence at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center when three bears were fed a moose leg. Mr. Swisher obviously did not determine that another photographer and I were there with permission of Mike Miller, the center's director, and three electrified stands of wire inside the fence ensured our safety. Swisher characterized all bears as wild and unpredictable, but these three are captive bears that are extremely predictable. They know people are no threat and have learned to never touch electric wires.

While I appreciate Mr. Swisher's concern for my safety, he should know that after 34 years as a wildlife biologist in Alaska being near wild and captive bears, I know how to remain safe. Maybe he should visit the conservation center to help lessen his extreme fear of bears?

-- Vic Van Ballenberghe


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