Originally Posted By: Susan
....But if you're out in the same wilderness and don't see them (although they're there), it's okay to run with music blaring in your ears......

Susan, living in Alaska means living in close proximithy with wildlife. More people are injured by moose in Alaska than by bears. While not generally agressive, they can, and (rarely) do kill people. (Some years back a man was stomped to death by a moose on the UAA campus, right in Anchorage.) I live in a normal middle class suburb near the middle of town, yet we often have moose in our yard. The day after Halloween, we had two moose at our front door, eating the pumpkin jack o' lantern we had put out the night before when the kids were trick or treating.

We don't generally get bears in my part of town, but they are not uncommon in some neighborhoods. Last year a friend of mine had one on his deck. For some data on where grizzlies are found, take a look at Tracking Anchorage grizzly bears. Yet there have been very very few bear maulings in town. While not common, there have been wolves seen in neighborhoods north of town, and they have been known to kill domestic dogs.

My point in all this is that living in Alaska, even in the largest city in the state means that one is often near large, potentially dangerous wildlife. Yet, people are very rarely injured, let alone killed by wildlife. That is why these events become news that you read down in Washington State. I don't mean to suggest that reasonable care, and situational awareness isn't important. But if we all followed your advice, and never listened to music when a wildlife encounter was possible (no matter how unlikely) would mean that we never listened to music, except perhaps when locked inside our homes.

Here in Alaska, sensible people take reasonable precautions, yet we also go about our normal daily lives. Folks who want ZERO risk of being injured by wildlife either don't ever go outside, or else they move somewhere else. In my opinion, I think you are being way too critical of a person's actions, in a situation you know very little about.
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz