Third trash-eating bear killed in Eagle River

A spokesman for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said Saturday that a third bear was shot and killed in the Eagleridge neighborhood earlier in the week.

The department previously reported it killed two brown bears in the residential neighborhood off Eagle River Road on Monday night. In a Saturday text message, ADFG spokesman Ken Marsh confirmed the third brown bear — which he said was suffering from a gunshot wound inflicted by a neighborhood resident — was killed during a joint effort between Fish and Game and the Anchorage Police Department late Wednesday night.

"The bear was reported shot by a homeowner sometime last week," Marsh wrote. "It disappeared after that and was presumed dead. There was one more report of a sighting a few days later (again getting into trash) when the other two bears were becoming an issue."

[Biologists say trash bears in Eagle River will be killed — but people are the problem]

Marsh said the department doesn't necessarily issue press releases every time a bear is killed.

"These situations are, unfortunately, a routine part of what we do," wrote Marsh, who noted the department was also busy Wednesday dealing with a double mauling near the end of Hiland Road.

The department has killed at least six bears in the Chugiak-Eagle River area this spring, including a brown bear near Beach Lake, two black bears near the Eagle River Nature Center and the three brown bears in Eagleridge.


On Saturday, Fish and Game continued its efforts to capture and kill the brown bear believed to be responsible for killing a 44-year-old Eagle River hiker and injuring a man searching for the missing hiker Wednesday.

Anchorage police said Michael Soltis disappeared from his South Fork Eagle River Valley home Monday. Soltis' body was found Wednesday morning, shortly after a brown bear injured a volunteer searching the woods about a half-mile from Soltis' home. The injured man is expected to recover from a leg injury.

Marsh said biologists have no set timetable for how long they'll continue to search for the bear suspected in the attacks.