USFWS INVESTIGATING BLACK BEAR DEATH AT KENAI NWR

USFWS photos depict the scene of an alleged illegal black bear death at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

The Anchorage Daily News reports that a black bear killed illegally at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Here’s the USFWS Facebook post on the incident:

On Thursday, May 17, 2018 at approximately 0930 hours, Federal Wildlife Officers (FWO) received a report of a Black Bear that had been poached near the East entrance of Skilak Loop approximately 1/2 mile from Jim’s Landing.

FWO Rob Barto and Wildlife Canine Rex responded to the scene and documented a large pool of blood in the middle of the road as well as drags marks from the scene into the woods and drag marks from the woods back to the road where the bear was loaded into a vehicle and transported from the area.

Witnesses describe the black bear as weighing approximately 100 pounds and no fear of vehicles or people. Witnesses also stated that a blue hatch back similar to a Subaru Outback as being the vehicle driven by the person who shot the bear as it stood in the middle of the road in this area that is closed to hunting. FWOs are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to please contact FWO Barto at 907.262.7021. All information will remain confidential.

Image may contain: outdoor and nature
Image may contain: tree, plant, outdoor and nature
 
 

Some more details from the ADN:

Witnesses who were driving on the road told wildlife officers that a person shot a bear Thursday as it stood in the middle of Skilak Lake Road, about a half-mile from Jim’s Landing, a recreation area with access to the Kenai River. They said the bear weighed about 100 pounds and it seemed to have no fear of vehicles or people, Miller said.

Miller said it’s believed the person shot the bear, dragged it into the woods for “minimal processing” and pulled the bear’s carcass back to the road. The person then loaded it into a blue hatchback, similar to a Subaru Outback, according to the refuge.

 “This was a harvest of an animal that was otherwise legally allowed to be harvested, but it was in a closed area,” Miller said.

While some parts of the refuge are open for hunting, this area is not, he said. Even if it was, it’s illegal for someone to take game by shooting on, from or across a drivable surface, according to Alaska hunting regulations.

Wildlife officers first learned of the shooting around 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Miller said.

Photographs that the refuge posted online Sunday show a pool of blood on the road and a trail of blood leading into the nearby trees.

 

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