A brown bear was killed early Tuesday in Skagway after weeks of the bear rummaging around town.
Skagway Police Chief Ray Leggett says the male brown bear is the same one seen around town on an almost daily since early October, getting into trash, knocking over dumpsters and BBQ grills and, on at least one occasion, trying to get into a freezer. On several occasions police officers used cracker rounds or rubber bullets to scare the bear away from town.
Leggett said a licensed hunter shot the bear Tuesday just outside city limits near the railroad tracks and mountain side, and that the kill was a “legal hunt and legal take of game.” The chief said he had given a heads up to a few local hunters about the bear, asking for their assistance if they noticed the bear outside of town. Leggett said he trusted the hunters he contacted to quickly kill the bear while making sure the surroundings were a safe distance from residence and people.
Leggett later on Tuesday announced on Facebook that the bear had been dispatched. More than 60 comments appeared on the notice within an hour. Some residents commented that they were saddened the bear was killed but glad to be rid of the roaming bear. Others were unhappy at the news, wishing the bear could have been relocated or that residents would have worked harder to secure trash and dumpsters to deter the bear.
Leggett also noted that city ordinance requires residents not leave trashcans outside or unsecured until 4 a.m. on pickup day. And that wasn’t usually the case with the trash the bear meddled with, he said.