Brown Bear that Escaped Conservation Center is Killed in Portage

The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center says it's saddened to hear that a two-year-old brown bear that escaped its facility in April was found dead last night (6/13) across from its campus.

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by Megan Mazurek

The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center says it's saddened to hear that a two-year-old brown bear that escaped its facility in April was found dead last night (6/13) across from it's campus.

The AWCC staff had gotten reports that a bear that looked similar to Shaguyik, also known as Shaggy, had been found across the Seward Highway from the facility in Portage. The female was verified by a microchip scan that staff had implemented in the missing bear.

Shaggy escaped through a hole in an electric fence during routine maintenance earlier this spring. AWCC staff and the Department of Fish and Game continued searching for the bear, however, she had not been seen since the escape.

"We're really saddened by the loss it was hard enough to send Taquka to Sweden yesterday it's like sending a member of your family away he's been right around with us for two years now," said Ethan Tyler, spokesperson for Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.

Shaggy's companion, Taquka, was sedated by AWCC staff and successfully shipped to a center in Sweden yesterday. (6/13)

"We were really excited about it because he was darted safely and he is on his way to Sweden safe and that was really our number one goal," Tyler said.

The two orphaned cubs were rescued together from Kodiak Island in the winter of 2010, and had stayed at the conservation center together.

"It was a little defeating to get the news this other bear that had gone missing was killed," Tyler said.

The shooting has been reported to Alaska Wildlife Troopers to determine whether this was a legal shooting of a brown bear in defense of life or property.

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