4 bears killed after Hope mauling

The incident occurred July 29.

Alaska State Troopers badge

Alaska State Troopers badge

Daniel Schilling was the victim of the fatal bear attack that took place last week in Hope, Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game said in an update Thursday.

“Our deepest sympathies go out to Mr. Schilling’s family and friends during this very sad time,” Cyndi Wardlow, Southcentral regional supervisor, said in a Thursday press release. “While we may never know the full circumstances, we are trying to learn everything we can about what happened to help people stay safe around wildlife in Alaska.”

The incident occurred July 29. Alaska State Troopers said Schilling was reported to have been clearing a trail about a mile behind his property. He was late returning home and his dog returned without him. His body, with wounds consistent with a bear attack, was found by family and friends in the area in which he had been working, troopers said.

In the initial investigation, hair collected from the scene appeared to be from a brown bear. After DNA from the hair and other samples from the attack site were analyzed, ADF&G identified DNA from both a female brown bear and a female black bear.

There were no witnesses to the attack, but an empty bear spray canister with the safety removed was found at the attack site, and the bear spray appeared to have been discharged at the site. No attractants such as a dead moose or a food cache were found in the area, according to the press release.

Over the last week. ADF&G took efforts to locate and kill the animals that had been at the site. Game cameras showed that at least one black bear had returned to the area.

On the afternoon of Aug. 5, ADF&G employees killed one female brown bear and three female black bears near the attack site.

Samples were collected from the bears that were killed on Wednesday and are being analyzed to see if they match the samples initially collected at the attack site.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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