The body of a brown bear cub was found dead in a dumpster at the Soldotna Landfill Sunday morning after it had been transported with garbage from the unmanned dumpster.
Alaska State Trooper Public Information officer, Beth Ipsen, said that a driver transporting garbage from the Kasilof Transfer site reported finding a small brown bear in the contents after he trucked it to the Soldotna Landfill.
Ipsen said the bear was 60 to 80 pounds and was at least one year old.
Upon initial trooper examination, the cub was found to have been dead for several days and had bled from the ear.
Ipsen said that brown bears less than two years are considered cubs, while black bears are only considered cubs for the first year of life.
While an in-depth investigation has not been performed, Ipsen said there could be several causes of death for the cub including human defense of life, vehicle collision or attack by another animal.
If the cub was harmed by a human, in defense of life or otherwise, that person who presumably killed the bear has 15 days from the date of the cub’s death to report the incident.
“A lot of this could be avoided if it could have been reported,” she said.
Aside from the potential charge of failure to report violation, other charges, that could result from such an incident, include failure to salvage the head and skull for Alaska Department of Fish and Game and possible violations for taking a bear out of season.
Ipsen said if a human killed the bear, and they report the matter in the next few days, the charge of failure to report the incident is not longer an issue.
“Then they are fine,” she said.
Troopers are currently investigating the cub’s death. If anyone has information on the death of the bear, Ipsen urged them to call 262-4573.