Errant bruin wanders into Anchorage neighborhood

Posted: Friday, June 29, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Police shot a young black bear Thursday evening after chasing it around an East Anchorage neighborhood near an elementary school.

''People were walking around with their kids and dogs,'' said Sgt. Andy Jackson. ''A lot of them didn't have a clue until we yelled at them, 'Get out of the way, there's a bear!' ''

Jackson said police originally hoped to contain the 2-year-old male until a state Fish and Game agent could capture it. But the bear was approaching people and tried to get into homes.

Four officers and two members of the Mountain View Community Patrol tracked the bruin. Randy Smith of the community patrol said the bear moved onto the front porch of a house and tried to get inside. Smith and the officers followed into the backyard of an adjacent home.

The officers fired at the bear with shotguns and a handgun but didn't drop it. Police fired again, killing the bear under a tree in the corner of the yard.

Jackson said it was the first time he has had to shoot an animal in his 18 years on the force.

''I'm amazed it got this far into the city,'' he said.

Jackson said it appeared some of the buckshot struck a home. Police took photos of the damage.

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