Anchorage Bear Killed Halloween Night

Anchorage News, Bear Hunting Magazine
11/03/2008

A black bear raiding garbage in Anchorage on Halloween night, as kids were going door-to-door trick-or-treating, was shot and killed out of concern for the children's safety, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Officials said trick-or-treaters were not in immediate danger, though the animal, which was drawn to a pile of garbage in the driveway of a home refused to leave when police and wildlife officials tried to chase it away into nearby Hillside Park.

Anchorage-area wildlife biologist Rick Sinnott, who arrived on scene at about 7:15 p.m. to find a police officer monitoring the bear, dispatched the animal with a shotgun in the backyard of the home.

"He wasn't going to go away," Sinnott said. "We were afraid that if we really chased him hard and lost him, then all these kids out here trick-or-treating would be in danger. I think the risk was enormous. Who wants to have a black bear running around the street Halloween night with scores of kids walking around within a block or so?"

The bear was placed in the back of Sinnott's truck and he planned to butcher the animal, donate its meat to charity and auction its hide off at Fur Rondezvous.

Though some bears are beginning to den up for the winter, Sinnott said, others, like this young male, a likely repeat garbage offender, are still roaming in search of a good meal.

The pickings were not scarce at the home. On a porch, a gnawed up industrial-sized can of frozen nacho cheese lay open and clawed up. At the head of the driveway, a handful of garbage cans were tossed over and scattered, the bags formerly inside torn up and their contents scattered by the animal.

"Pure negligence," Sinnott said, shaking his head as he examined the scene. The biologist remained in the driveway, waiting for the residents to return. He planned to ticket them for allowing the bear to get in their garbage, a citation with a price tag of $310.



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