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Wildlife

2 bears shot dead in separate Eagle River incidents

  • Author: Chris Klint
  • Updated: June 13, 2017
  • Published June 13, 2017

A brown bear was killed in Eagle River early Tuesday, one of two overnight bear shootings under investigation by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Ken Marsh, a spokesman for Fish and Game, said the brown bear was shot along Hiland Road.

"He was getting into a chicken coop," Marsh said.

Biologists retrieved the carcass. The shooting was initially being considered in defense of life or property, Marsh said.

Fish and Game was also looking into another Eagle River shooting involving a group of black bears Monday night near Old Eagle River Road and Baranoff Avenue.

Anchorage police spokeswoman Renee Oistad said officers responded to that shooting, on the 16900 block of Baranoff Avenue, just before 9:15 p.m.

"The property owner's son shot the bear after running the bear off of the property twice before," Oistad wrote in a statement. "The son shot and killed the bear when the bear came at both him and the horse corral."

The shooting was also reported as a defense of life or property, Oistad said.

Marsh hadn't heard word from biologists that bears have been particularly prevalent in Eagle River so far this year.

"It's not uncommon this time of year for there to be lots of bears in the Eagle River area," Marsh said. "They come down from the hills for the fish in the South Fork of Eagle River; they also came down for easy-to-catch moose calves, so it's an annual thing."

Last week, Fish and Game was informed of a bear feeding on a moose carcass along a trail near War Admiral Road and Highbluff Drive. The discovery prompted biologists to put up signs closing the trail from Friday through Wednesday.

Fish and Game generally advises Alaskans to avoid bear problems at home by containing chickens and livestock in electric fences, keeping yards clear of trash and food waste, and putting out garbage on the day of pickup in bear-resistant containers.

"People need to take the usual steps to be bear-aware," Marsh said.

Fish and Game is awaiting detailed reports from the people who killed the bears, Marsh said. They have 15 days to file them under state law.

Check back for updates.

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