A police officer in Soldotna, Alaska, shot and killed a brown bear last week after the animal charged him in a residential area. Officer Victor Dillon spotted the bear crossing a yard, then followed it on foot when it charged from a distance of approximately 25 yards. Dillion fired a single round from his shotgun, killing the bear. Perhaps coincidentally, the shooting took place not long after the Alaska Department of Fish and Game recently announced a new predator control policy calling for a large-scale reduction in grizzly population by state agents. The AFGD believes the reduction will increase moose and caribou numbers, though the policy has been criticized by other wildlife experts. An article published in the Journal of Wildlife Management reviewed Alaska's grizzly management from 1980-2010 and warned that "current attitudes, policies and absence of science-based management of grizzly bears in Alaska are increasingly similar to those that resulted in the near extirpation of grizzly bears south of Canada in the 19th and 20th centuries." Brown bears are the same species as grizzlies but generally live closer to the coast. Police in Soldotna believe the dead bear had been attracted to a fresh caribou head left over from a butchered carcass.
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