Man charged with killing brown bear cub on base property

Casey Grove

An Eagle River man who lives adjacent to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson has been charged with illegally killing a brown bear cub that dragged his garbage to the military base July 31.

Military conservation officials told Alaska Wildlife Troopers they found evidence that a bear cub was shot just inside the base's fence, troopers said. In the nearby neighborhood, Darwin Nelson told a trooper investigating the incident that two cubs had gotten into unsecured garbage outside his Targhee Loop home and dragged it to the base, where he shot one of them.

Nelson said the bears took a bag of trash under the base's fence and were eating it on the other side, troopers said. He chased them, he told the trooper, and picked up some of the refuse strewn on his street before returning home to get a shotgun.

According to troopers, Nelson came back to the fence with his gun and shot one of the cubs from a distance of 10 to 15 feet.

"It is unknown if the cub died from injuries, but a substantial amount of blood was discovered at the scene," says a trooper dispatch posted online.

The shooting did not meet the standards for shooting a bear in defense of one's life or property, troopers said. Nelson was issued a court summons for taking a brown bear in a closed area.

Reach Casey Grove at or 257-4589.

Anchorage Daily News