Skilak bear’s cubs not found, have chance of survival

The cubs of a brown bear that mauled a hunter from Texas this week have not been found, said Alaska Department of Fish and Game Area Wildlife Biologist Jeff Selinger.

“We did not see or hear the cubs when we went back out to the site, and every indication is that the cubs were older than cubs of the year,” Selinger said.

The Skilak bear was killed Tuesday after mauling Texas resident Gregory Matthews, when his brother, Roger, shot it with a high-powered rifle. It was found about 100 yards from the attack site near Skilak Lake.

Evidence from the dead bear and testimony from the hunters were used to determine that the cubs are at least yearlings, and possibly a few years older, Selinger said. Fish and Game personnel will not continue to look for them, because searching through the woods where other bears live could be even more damaging, he said.

“A lot of times we can cause more issues than we can solve,” Selinger said, adding that it will be best to leave things up to nature as far as the cubs are concerned.

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@peninsulaclarion.com

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