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Sterling man survives brown bear attack by shooting and killing bear

Jenny Neyman
A brown bear.

A Sterling man survived a brown bear attack north of the Skilak Lake Road area this weekend by shooting and killing the bear, according to Alaska Wildlife Troopers.

Troopers say 34-year-old Nicholas Abraham of Sterling was rabbit hunting in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Saturday evening when he was attacked by a female brown bear with two cubs. Abraham was able to shoot and kill the sow with a 44 caliber handgun, according to the trooper dispatch, and was later treated for minor injuries at a Kenai Peninsula hospital.

A trooper spokesperson said the attack happened one mile north of milepost 73.5 of the Sterling Highway, inside the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and past the west entrance to Skilak Lake Road.

It is legal to shoot and kill a bear in self defense in Alaska, as long as one does not provoke an attack or behave in a negligent way by leaving food out, for example. Bears killed in this manner are the property of the state, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and the shooter is required to give the hide and skull of the bear to Fish and Game.

A trooper spokesperson said despite an investigation of the scene, troopers were unable to find the two cubs.

Riley Board is a Report For America participant and senior reporter at KDLL covering rural communities on the central Kenai Peninsula.
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