Alaska Fish and Wildlife Protection Troopers in Soldotna responded to a report of a bear attack Sunday west of Sterling.
Sigfredo Casiano Jr., 28, of Kenai, was walking in the Swanson River Road area when he came upon a large bear protecting a moose carcass, said trooper spokesperson Greg Wilkinson.
The bear charged Casiano, who had drawn his rifle and was able to shoot and kill the animal when it was about 3 feet away.
Troopers said the bear apparently had been in the area for some time and was rather large, measuring between 8- and 9-feet tall and weighing about 500 pounds.
The remains of the bear were turned over to Fish and Wildlife Protection Services and the hide will probably be sold at auction at a later date, with proceeds going into the Fish and Wildlife general fund.
As spring settles in, troopers reminded peninsula residents to practice bear safety:
Bears don't like surprises. Make your presence known by talking, singing or walking with bells.
Avoid areas of thick brush.
Walk with the wind at your back when possible.
Do not set up camp on trails or roadways, which bears are likely to use.
Avoid areas where you can smell carcasses or see scavenger birds. It could be a bear's cache.
If faced with a bear at close range, stay calm and do not run. Talk and wave your arms to let the animal know you are human. If it continues to approach, raise your voice.
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