Garbage bear shot dead

A black bear believed to have a taste for garbage was found dead Sept. 18 behind Mendenhall Mall. News of the death was released Friday by Alaska Wildlife Troopers.

Troopers received a report about the dead bear about 4:30 p.m. Friday. When they arrived, they found the bear had been shot, with none of its meat or hide salvaged.

Jacob Abbott was the investigating officer, and while he can’t say with 100 percent certainty that it was the same bear that had been getting into local garbage, “we’re pretty confident it’s the same bear.”

Businesses in the vicinity of the mall have been dealing with bear-related garbage problems.

Abbott added that the bear was “definitely shot in the area of the Mendenhall Mall,” and was not crushed by a dumpster, as had been rumored on social media.

Troopers are asking for the public’s help identifying the person who shot the bear.

Anyone with information about the shooting is being asked to contact wildlife Troopers in Juneau at 465-4000. Callers who want to leave an anonymous tip can contact the Alaska Wildlife Safeguard Hotline at 1-800-478-3377.

Abbott said the truism that a “fed bear is a dead bear” remains true, and Juneau residents should continue to contain their garbage. Negligently feeding game animals is a $310 fine under state law. The consequences for the bear are high, too.

“Garbage is a huge problem here,” he said, “and it’s usually what leads to bears getting shot.”

Contact reporter James Brooks at james.k.brooks@juneauempire.com or call 523-2258.

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