DNA Says Bears Euthanized Near Eagle River Attack Did Not Kill Hiker

An already tragic story continues to get worse. When an Eagle River hiker was fatally attacked by a bear last month. authorities set out  to euthanize the animal(s) responsible for the fatality and an ensuing attack that injured one of the search-and-rescue members. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game did euthanize three brown bears in the area believed to be the ones that killed Michael Soltis, but on Thursday officials announced that DNA tests proved the bears were not responsible for the attack.

Here’s the Anchorage Daily News with more:

State wildlife biologists shot and killed the three bears from a helicopter July 13, nearly a month after a bear killed Michael Soltis, 44, and later injured volunteer searcher Paul Vasquez, 51.

Hair and tissue samples taken from the bears killed were compared to hair, blood and saliva collected at the mauling sites. They did not match. 

Tests have indicated the same brown bear sow was responsible for both attacks.