Troopers shoot aggressive bear in Girdwood

Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska State Troopers shot and killed a brown bear in Girdwood after it repeatedly charged residents and efforts to chase the bear off failed.

When trooper Bill Welch responded to an aggressive bear call from the Girdwood Volunteer Fire Department at about 10 p.m. Tuesday, he found the bear in the fenced yard at Little Bears Playhouse day care, sitting on a slide.

The bear was apparently one of two grown siblings seen with a sow on Glacier Creek over the past month, Welch said. The sow had charged several people, state Fish and Game biologist Rick Sinnott said.

A crowd had gathered at the day care by the time Welch arrived. The bear didn't know which way to turn with so many people around, Welch said.

Welch said he managed, from outside the fence, to shoo the bear out a gate in the far side of the yard into the woods. But the bear turned and started coming back.

When rubber pellets didn't deter the bear, Welch changed to real bullets and killed the bear, estimated at 2 to 3 years old.

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