Truck strikes, kills brown bear in South Anchorage

Tegan Hanlon

A truck hit and killed a brown bear Friday morning in South Anchorage, bringing the count of bears killed by vehicles in the municipality this year to eight, according to officials.

Police received a report that a silver Chevrolet pickup truck collided with a bear at Rabbit Creek Road and the Old Seward Highway around 7 a.m, according to police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro.

Jessy Coltrane, area biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, responded to pick up the dead bear.

Coltrane said eight is an unusually high number of bears killed by vehicles in the Anchorage area. Last year, two brown bears and one black bear were killed in vehicle collisions.

"Usually we see less than five," Coltrane said.

She said she can't explain this year's increase in bear deaths related to vehicle collisions because the number of bears killed in defense of life and property is low. This year, seven bears were killed compared to last year's 18.

Reach Tegan Hanlon at or 257-4589.