Fish and Game kills 1st Anchorage bear in 2019
State biologists have killed the first Anchorage bear this year, as the arrival of summer brings a rise in bear-human interactions.
Alaska Department of Fish and Game spokesman Ken Marsh said Wednesday that the brown bear was killed between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Monday, when it was found in a backyard along Huffman Road between Shenandoah Place and Shiloh Road. The bruin had reportedly grown bolder in encounters with people and at one point, Marsh said, the animal had even acted aggressively toward a car.
Marsh confirmed the bear killed Monday is the same animal seen lunging beneath a guardrail toward a vehicle in a Facebook video posted Tuesday by Elmer Bekoloak.
A resident of the area, Donna Haugan, recorded video of the bear before its death.
Neighbors in the area said Wednesday they heard multiple gunshots when Fish and Game killed the bear. They said the animal had been getting into a chicken coop in the area, prompting residents to warn each other about its presence.
Residents corroborated Marsh’s account of the bear, saying that dogs hadn’t been scaring it.
Nearly a year ago, on June 20, 2018, searchers found the body of 44-year-old Michael Soltis after friends said he was last seen near Hiland Road. Fish and Game mounted an extensive search for the brown bear that killed Soltis, at one point killing a bear believed to be responsible, but calling off the effort without finding the animal that committed the mauling.
Cassie Schirm contributed information to this story.
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