The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center's rescued brown bear Shaguyik "Shaggy" -- which had escaped from the center in spring -- was confirmed dead Thursday.
On Wednesday evening, AWCC received a tip that a bear similar to Shaggy had been spotted near Portage, just across the Seward Highway from the AWCC Campus. AWCC reported that the bear had been shot.
When center employees went to the site, they identified the deceased bear as Shaggy, as she had a microchip implant and a scan by staff confirmed the 2-year-old female brown bear as a match.
"This is a tragic end to this event. Everyone at the center was distraught to hear the news," said Mike Miller, AWCC's executive director.
You may recall Shaggy from such events as her wily escape from the AWCC facilities or, possibly, as the companion of Taquka, who recently left the center for a new life in Sweden.
The shooting will be reported to the Alaska Wildlife Troopers, according to center officials. No word yet on whether this was a legal or illegal shooting under the defense of life or property act.