A bear that raided garages in Bells Flats and Lake Louise housing and raided chicken coops in Bells Flats was shot dead last weekend, officials said Wednesday.

John Crye, an Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist, confirmed that a Bells Flats resident shot the bear on Saturday after the bear broke into the resident’s chicken coop.

The bear reportedly had raided three different chicken coops in Bells Flats before it was shot. Crye also said it broke into garages and pushed in the door on a residence.

Crye said the bear was an 8-foot, 6- to 7-year-old male bear. People who saw the bear during the past weeks were originally reporting it as a 3- to 4-year-old bear, but Crye said that was due to its small size.

He believes it’s the only bear that has been causing problems in Kodiak so far this year.

On March 19, a post on the Coast Guard Base Kodiak Facebook page warned about proper garbage disposal practices after three different residences “experienced firsthand what a Kodiak Brown Bear is capable of doing” when it broke into garages in the Lake Louise housing area.

Crye said most of the damage was in Coast Guard housing before the bear moved into Bells Flats last week.

On March 25, the bear broke into a Bells Flats garage and ate food out of a freezer.

During a Lake Louise town hall meeting on March 25 about bear safety, ADF&G biologist Nathan Svoboda said the situation with a bear breaking down garage doors was “extremely rare,” and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Bill Leacock called it “highly unusual.”

Alaska laws allow the shooting of bears and other animals if it’s in defense of life or property.

After shooting, there is required ADF&G paperwork that must be filled out, and the animal must be salvaged and turned over to the state.

Julie Herrmann is a staff reporter at the Kodiak Daily Mirror. Contact her at 486-3227 ext. 627.

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