A Dawson City resident had to shoot a grizzly bear early Monday morning after it broke into a shed twice and behaved aggressively.
“It’s very unusual in Dawson City, right in the town limits, we almost never have bears,” Kirby Meister, a local conservation officer, said in an interview Wednesday.
The bear first arrived in Dawson last Friday, Meister said, and residents recognizing the tracks in the snow phoned him immediately.
As all conservation officers were out of town last weekend, a deputy officer set up traps and warning signs – with little to no effect.
The bear snatched the bait from three traps without triggering the mechanism – which is not unusual for larger bears, Meister said.
Last Saturday night, the bear broke into a shed at a residence in the Dome subdivision, finding scraps left over from a butchered moose.
The bear dragged some of it into the bush, feeding on it.
Early Monday morning, the bear returned to same shed–which had been fixed.
Not finding any meat, the animal approached the house.
It wouldn’t leave despite attempts by the resident to scare it, Meister said.
Ultimately, the resident had to shoot the bear.
“The resident did everything right,” said Meister.
After examination, conservation officers determined the grizzly, a 400-pound male, was quite old and had almost no fat.
“At this time (of the year), we expect a lot of fat reserve,” he explained.
The bear had also hurt itself.
Officers discovered a shoulder injury that was infected.
“It was quite a deep gash right in the muscle,” said Meister.
The bear was also staying in the bushes around homes, and acted aggressively anytime he was approached.
“All those things combined, it likely meant we would have destroyed the bear anyway.”