A brown bear which had reportedly become a garbage bear was killed by Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists Wednesday.

Fish and Game spokesman Ken Marsh said the sow was killed shortly after 5 a.m. Wednesday at the Birchwood Camp in Chugiak. Marsh said the sow had three yearling cubs which ran into the woods once their mother was shot.

According to Marsh, Fish and Game had been getting reports for several weeks about the sow and her cubs getting into garbage in the Eagle River/Chugiak area.

According to Birchwood Camp manager Relena Myers, the bears killed a goat and 22 chickens belonging to her family between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. Tuesday. Most of the chickens were eaten, but the homeowners managed to put the goat's carcass in a bear-proof dumpster.

The bruins returned late Tuesday evening, Myers said, prompting the family to request help from Fish and Game as well as police. Officials didn't see the bears, so they left; the bears returned Wednesday morning, which was when Fish and Game responded and killed them.

Marsh said the bear was acting aggressively and bluff-charged several times before it was shot. He said Fish and Game has no plans to go after the cubs as long as they remain in the woods, but that could change if they are spotted eating garbage again.

Brown bears are particularly dangerous, according to Marsh, because they aggressively guard their food sources. He urged people to be vigilant about their garbage and anything else that could attract bears to a neighborhood.

Myers said the bears arrived surprisingly early during the bear season, and that the family had bought but hadn't yet installed an electric bear fence for the property.

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