Juneau police shoot glacier bear

Posted: Thursday, July 17, 2003

JUNEAU (AP) Police shot and killed a glacier color black bear Wednesday that fed on garbage and turned aggressive.

The bear was shot at the Thunder Mountain Trailer Park in the Mendenhall Valley by an officer at around 9 a.m. It was the first bear destroyed in Juneau this year, other than a brown bear that had been struck by a car, said Neil Barten, area wildlife biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

''There are other bears out there up against the hills,'' he said. ''The bears are feeding on berries and vegetation.''

The dead bear weighed 120 pounds and was about 2 years old, Barten said.

The bear broke into Yvonne Miller's locked storage shed to feast on garbage. Once he found it, he wouldn't leave it alone.

Miller told the Juneau Empire she called police after she unsuccessfully tried to scare the bear away.

Police reported the bear reluctantly left after the responding officer made noise. About a half hour later, the bear returned and so did the officer.

The bear answered his noise making with an aggressive stance and grunting sounds and started walking toward the officer before walking back into the woods.

A few minutes later, the bear returned, becoming aggressive, snorting, grunting and stamping the ground. When the bear started backing the officer down, the officer shot it, police said.

Barten said the light-colored, bluish bear will be skinned and the hide used for educational purposes.

''I'm just glad it was a police officer out there and not my kids,'' Miller said.

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