A man shot a grizzly bear sow Monday morning after it charged him and his son in a remote area off a trail near Chena Hot Springs Road northeast of Fairbanks, Alaska State Troopers said.
The injured bear had not been located by Tuesday afternoon.
The man and son happened upon the sow and cub around 11:12 a.m. while walking in a remote area near Smallwood Trail off Chena Hot Springs Road, troopers wrote in an online statement.
“Once the adult male and the sow made eye contact the bear charged,” troopers spokesman Austin McDaniel said.
The man shot the bear with a .44 Magnum revolver, troopers said. The sow was believed to be acting defensively to protect her cub, McDaniel said in an email.
The injured bear fled from the area, troopers said. The cub left with its mother, McDaniel said.
Two wildlife troopers tracked the bear on foot for about five hours and a helicopter searched the area, but they were unable to find the bear, McDaniel said. Its last location was in an undeveloped area northeast of the trail. Troopers are no longer actively searching for the bear, McDaniel said.
“The tracking that the Troopers conducted ended in a undeveloped area not near any dwellings or other human activity, so Troopers do not consider this bear a public safety risk at this time,” he wrote on Tuesday.
It was not clear how badly the bear was injured, McDaniel said.
The man shot at the bear in defense of his life, troopers said. Alaska law allows for people to kill wild game outside of the normal hunting season to defend life or property.