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Alaska Beat

Rangers allowed to kill two grizzlies menacing popular Fairbanks trail

  • Author: Craig Medred
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published August 11, 2012

In the past month, two errant grizzly bears have been terrorizing hikers on the Granite Tors trail in the Chena River State Recreation area east of Fairbanks, including one incident where a woman used her bug spray to fend off the growling creature that was so close she could have "kissed it." Now rangers have been given the go-ahead to kill the bears if rangers come across them, and the bears act aggressively, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports.

Last week the bears threatened hikers on two separate occasions; in the first incident, the hiker fired a shotgun to ward off the bears, but they still followed him down the trail before leaving him alone. In a second incident, the bears got close enough to a hiker that she could have used her bear spray on them, but didn't as she questioned whether her sole can of spray was enough to deter both bears.

Bear encounters in Alaska's Interior are not as common as in Southcentral, which has already seen more than its fair share of encounters this summer. The Anchorage area has been plagued with incidents, including but not limited to: a bear attack the Chugach State Park's Eagle River campground, a bear showing up in an Anchorage home, an aggressive grizzly in the heart of Anchorage, and a bear sighting inside an Anchorage high school.

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