Skagway brown bear shot in ‘hazing’ attempt

A brown bear got more than a warning shot on Saturday when a Skagway Police Department officer accidentally loaded and fired a real bullet.

The adult male bear was in the National Park Service’s Dyea Campground when it was shot, according to Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park officials. Park officials say the bear could still be alive and authorities will be keeping a watchful eye for it in the days to come.

Bears are typically “hazed” in order to “create a negative experience” to deter them from approaching humans and sources of food, a news release states. This is often done with non-lethal rubber slugs and noise deterrents.

The Skagway officer who shot the bear reported he inadvertently loaded a lethal slug before firing and hitting the bear in its hind section. The animal fled the campground after being shot.

National Park Service personnel were not present when the bear was shot. Park rangers and Skagway police searched for the injured bear, observing it cross the Taiya River.

“The bear was observed to be walking with great difficulty and is believed to have succumbed to the river current,” according to an NPS statement. “Subsequent search efforts along the river bank have indicated no further sign of the injured bear, but authorities have not been able to verify that the bear has died from its wounds.”

Authorities believe the bear is the same one that has been spotted around Dyea since early this summer.

More in News

The Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Encore docks in Juneau in October, 2022. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for t​​he Week of Sept. 17

Here’s what to expect this week.

A rainbow appears over downtown as residents check out rows of electric vehicles at Juneau’s EV E-bike Roundup Saturday afternoon. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Capital city celebrates 10th annual Juneau EV and E-bike Roundup

Juneau’s electric vehicle growth among fastest in the country, organizers say.

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, gives a live speech via video from Washington, D.C., to attendees at the annual Southeast Conference meeting in Sitka on Thursday. (Screenshot from video by Southeast Conference)
Murkowski, Sullivan warn of domestic, foreign threats to Southeast Alaska’s economy

Issues from Russian seafood imports to ferry funding cited by senators during Southeast Conference.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

This is a photo of Juneau International Airport. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Email threat to Alaska airports doesn’t appear credible, police say

Heightened presence of officers at Juneau airport planned Friday.

A 2023 municipal election ballot is placed in the drop box at Douglas Library/Fire Hall Community Building. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Number of residents registered to vote ‘nearly identical’ to last year

More than 1,100 ballots counted so far during this municipal election.

Samantha Crain, of the Choctaw Nation, sings to the crowd during a performance Thursday night as part of the Áak’w Rock music festival at Centennial Hall. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
‘It’s pure resiliency’: Áak’w Rock kicks off

The three-day Indigenous music festival attracts full crowds during its first night.

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, walks down a hallway Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, at the Alaska State Capitol. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
With Alaska’s federal judge vacancy nearing 2-year mark, Sullivan breaks from nomination tradition

Murkowski appears skeptical about the switch, saying she’s prepared to advance nominees to Biden

Jordan Creek flows over a portion of a footbridge behind a shopping center Thursday evening. The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for Jordan Creek, Montana Creek and Auke Lake until 10 a.m. Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Flood warning for Jordan Creek, Montana Creek and Auke Lake issued until 10 a.m. Friday

Glacier Highway, structures near Jordan Creek may inundated, according to National Weather Service.

Most Read