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Bear killed in Kasilof not rabid

Posted: May 2, 2013 - 7:51pm

ANCHORAGE (AP) — A bear that attacked a man without provocation Sunday on a Kasilof beach was not rabid.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game wildlife biologist Jeff Selinger sent in the grizzly’s head for testing because the animal had attacked a telephone pole and a moving pickup before bruising 48-year-old Toby Burke as he bird-watched.

Alaska State Troopers killed the bear.

Department of Fish and Game veterinarian Kimberlee Beckmen in an press release says poor vision may have made the bear aggressive.

The 20-year-old sow was blind in her right eye from an old injury. The cornea of her left eye was clouded.

Beckmen says bears with impaired eyesight may act aggressively toward objects they don’t recognize.

She says the bear may have run into the pole and swatted at it in fear.

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