This August 2016 photo shows Skilak Lake with Mt. Redoubt in the background on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion, file)

Refuge seeks information on black bear poaching

Federal wildlife managers are looking for information about a black bear poaching near Cooper Landing.

Federal wildlife officers received a report Thursday that someone had poached a black bear on Skilak Lake Loop Road near the eastern entrance, about half a mile from Jim’s Landing on the Sterling Highway. Upon investigation, officer Rob Barto and canine officer Rex documented a “large pool of blood in the middle of the road” as well as drag marks to the woods, according to a Facebook post from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

There were drag marks back to the road from the woods as well, where the bear was loaded into a vehicle, according to the post.

Witnesses described the black bear as about 100 pounds with no fear of people or vehicles. The poacher was driving a blue hatchback car similar to a Subaru Outback, according to the post. The Skilak Loop Management Area, a section of the refuge between the highway and Skilak Lake along Skilak Lake Loop Road, is closed to hunting and trapping, except for moose hunting by permit only and small game by falconry or bow and arrow between Oct. 1 and March 1, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Anyone with information is asked to call Barto at 262-7021.

—Staff report

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