Brown Bear Euthanized After Mauling Dogs

Apologies for missing this last week, but the Juneau Empire has a report on a brown bear that had to be euthanized after it mauled three dogs in the Southeast Alaska community of Hoonah:

The male bear, estimated to between 4 and 5 years old, killed and stashed the remains of at least three dogs in Hoonah since late April, police say. A fourth dog was mauled but survived.

The bear believed responsible for the killings was euthanized at about 2 a.m. April 25, the Hoonah Police Department confirmed. Police killed the bear after it returned to a yard it had previously taken two dogs from.

Remains of three dogs were found partially buried in the woods near where the bear was killed, Interim Police Chief William Mills told the Empire.

“Due to the aggressive nature of the bear — and he kept continuing, we kept getting more reports of more missing dogs — officers were told if they had seen the bear described, that for the safety and protection of the community of Hoonah, the bear needed to be put down,” Mills said.

Two of the dogs lived at a residence near the edge of the woods. Another had been brought from a home a few blocks away, Mills said. Facebook posts indicate more dogs are missing in Hoonah, but Mills said they’ve only been able to confirm three dogs were killed by the bear.

The spate of pet maulings began on the afternoon of April 18, when a bear mauled a dog on a Hoonah property. Mills responded to that report, which was confirmed by the mother of the dog’s owner, who asked not to be identified. That dog survived and is doing “fine,” after receiving medical treatment in Juneau, its owner told the Empire.

That attack occurred at the same time Hoonah’s school lets out for the day, said Mills, who responded to the police call. Bears can become dangerously accustomed to humans, but typically only roam human settlements at night. The daytime attack worried Mills that the bear may have been desperate for food, making it a danger to the public.

“He’s been going after dogs, while what happens when he doesn’t get a dog? Does he go after one of the kids?” Mills said. “My main concern is the public here.”