Park rangers shoot aggressive black bear in Seward

Park officials killed and salvaged an aggressive black bear at Tonsina Creek Tuesday night after it bothered several groups of hikers late last week.

A black bear below some alders on a river bank
The black bear after the standoff (Photo courtesy Regina Green)

Alaska State Parks Ranger Jack Ransom said his department and the state Department of Fish and Game were worried about the safety of hikers. Tonsina Creek is a busy trail.

“In this case, the bear wasn’t going anywhere and it continued to threaten public safety,” he said.

Hikers said the bear wasn’t afraid of dogs or humans. A trio of hikers passing through the area last Thursday said the bear didn’t leave them alone until they maced it on a bridge near the trailhead.

RELATED: Hikers have standoff with black bear near Seward

It’s not uncommon to get reports of aggressive bears. But Ransom said it is uncommon to have to shoot one.

“In this particular park we have not had to do this in a long time,” he said. “At least 10 years.”

He said they salvaged the bear and donated it to charity. The Alaska State Troopers keep a list of organizations they can call to salvage and harvest wildlife meat when a situation like this one arises.