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Alaska Wildlife Troopers reported that they believe that a Brown Bear shooting that occurred in Sitka on Tuesday was a legitimate defense of life and property, according to a post on the trooper dispatch this morning.
According to AST, the Sitka Police alerted wildlife troopers that “a homeowner in the 2400 block of Sawmill Creek Road had shot a brown bear twice as it was chasing a dog through their yard.” The dog escaped injury. The incident occurred just before dark on Tuesday evening.
The homeowner informed troopers that he was unable to locate the wounded bruin before night fell. Troopers determined after investigating the scene and with the rifle caliber used, as well as the shot placement, that the bear was mortally wounded.
The homeowner searched the area on Wednesday, but was unable to locate the wounded animal. Troopers responded and lent assistance in locating the bear. After looking extensively, the bruin was found in thick woods behind the homeowners residence. It was quickly dispatched and salvaged. The bear hide, skull, and claws were transferred to ADF&G.
An inspection of the animal determined that the bear was approximately five-years-old, with a weight of about 350 lbs. It was reported that the animal was very lean and “lacked body fat.”
Troopers say that after their investigation, they determined that the shooting was legitimate and that “No attractants were present at the residence to keep the bear in the area.”
This is the third time in a little over a month that bears have been killed in Sitka after pursuing dogs, and in one case, eating a canine.
On June 15th, a Sitka resident, who is also a State Trooper, fired four rounds, killing a bear that was chasing his dog. Recruits from the academy responded and retrieved the bear. The bear was kept by the academy for training purposes.
On Friday, last week, a homeowner on Rudolph Walton Circle called in to report that their dog had been killed by a bear seen in the area all day. When a wildlife trooper and Sitka police responded to the scene, they located the partially-eaten canine. They also located the bear responsible nearby. Troopers took down the bear and the hide, skull and claws were turned over to ADF&G.