Story last updated at 2:19 p.m. Thursday, December 5, 2002

Bears host pre-hibernation party
Hungry bears went on a rampage in several cabins on the north end of Lake Aleknagik near Dillingham over the last few weeks causing thousands of dollars of damage.

"The bear(s) wrecked my stove, my refrigerator; my Plexiglass windows are broken, and all my knick-knacks on the walls were torn down," said Jose Jensen. "After they ripped through the door and broke the windows, they tore down the shelves, ripped the doors off all the cupboards, and then bit into cans -- everything from dry food to hairspray."

Jensen and others who own cabins in the area said that bear problems are rare in the area.

Connie Timmerman also owns a cabin on the island and said in the 27 years of camping on the lakes, she had never experienced bear vandalism on the island.

"Occasionally a bear would swim out there, but we'd chase it away," she said.

But during a recent trip to her cabin she noticed that something was wrong.

"We saw the cabin first thinking that the wind must have broken three windows. But as we went inside the cabin, it was a mess -- cupboards on the walls were on the floor, dishes were broken, sleeping bags were ripped up, and the new refrigerator was upside down," Timmerman said. "The only thing that they didn't get to was the loft, but you could see big bear claw marks where they tried."

-Bristol Bay Times