Now then: This is one of the most Alaska stories you’re liable to find around: A bear that attacked a father in son is not in fact the same bear that’s been raiding local chicken coops. Excerpt:
A necropsy has been completed on the bear that attacked a 9-year-old boy and an adult male on Tuesday evening near Palmer.
The two were hunting in the Palmer Hay Flats area when they stumbled across a sow and her cub. Regional Management Coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Conservation Todd Rinaldi said Thursday that he believes the individuals surprised the bear.
“These were folks that were engaged in hunting activity which is usually a quiet activity,” Rinaldi said. “It becomes a really tricky situation to hunt animals in the bush while simultaneously making your presence known and not surprising animals like bears.”
According to Rinaldi, the pair tried to remove themselves from the situation upon encountering the animal, but the bear made threatening moves, causing the adult to fire his weapon. The carcass was discovered by Alaska State Troopers and Alaska Wildlife Troopers that same evening.
After numerous households experienced chicken coop raids in the last week, residents were left wondering if it was the same bear that had been showing up in the Butte, but department officials don’t believe that it is.
Bears, yes, can be an issue around here. As previously noted, last spring we had a mature black hanging around the neighborhood for a while, and a neighbor (I didn’t see it myself) described it as a big one. For a few days I carried a 12-gauge pump stuffed with 00 buckshot back and forth to the office and to keep an eye on things while Mrs. Animal worked in the greenhouse. But we never saw this one ourselves. If I’d have gotten a clear shot, he’d be in the freezer right now.
Bears can be dangerous, although here in the Great Land moose injure more people than bears. Large, hairy critters in general can be dangerous, and our ever-more-urbanized population doesn’t always seem to realize that.
But that’s down in the 48, mostly, and when it happens up here it’s often tourists. Folks who live up here tend to know how to deal with wildlife, although you do get some nitwits like that idiot Tim Treadwell dropping in now and then. But then, what else are Darwin Awards for?