Brainy Bruin Opens Doors in West Hill Neighborhood

     Homer residents in the Highlands Drive area of West Hill are reporting the presence of a black bear that has apparently learned to open car and house doors. Fish and Game biologist Jason Herreman says neighbors in the area first reported the bear with the special talent.

     "It's a mid-size adult black bear that's just gotten a little bit smarter than our other bears," said Herreman. "The fellow that reported it ... had a bunch of blueberries in the car and on the front porch. (The bear) managed to open teh doors to both places, get inside, eat the berries and then take off."

     The house door in question had a regular, round door knob, which Herreman says the bear likely opened by twisting it with both front paws. The bear has reportedly not been aggressive.  

     Herreman says bear activity in the Homer area has been high lately. If you see a brown or black bear in your neighborhood, you can let your local Fish and Game office know about it. The number for the Homer office is 235-8191.