A brown bear cub was struck and killed by a driver in Haines recently.
Wildlife trooper Trent Chwialkowski said the incident happened July 28 in the late evening around mile 9 of Lutak Road.
Chwialkowski said the driver called the police and reported striking the bear, which then ran into the woods. Chwialkowski said the driver was not an Alaska resident.
“They didn’t even have the opportunity to put on the brakes, is what they described, it just darted across the road,” Chwialkowski said. “And it sounds as if the rear tire ran over the bear. There was no brake marks in the road where they reported striking it.”
The animal was eventually found dead a couple days later.
“The condition of the hide was pretty poor, it was bloated,” Chwialkowski said. “But everything else like the skull and the claws, Fish and Game usually gets those and they’re used for educational purposes.”
Bears have been active in the Lutak/Chilkoot River area. Chwialkowski said he spotted seven bears on a recent drive between the ferry terminal and Chilkoot campground.
“The bears are definitely out at all times of the day,” Chwialkowski said. “The speed limit is 35 (miles per hour) but it’s common for people to speed out there to check on the bears. Just a reminder to slow down. I don’t know, it seems like it’s gonna be a rough year if people aren’t cautious and following the rules and giving the bears their space.”
Over the past couple weeks, the Department of Fish and Game has been vocal about giving bears space. Bear-watchers have cause dangerous situations by getting too close to the animals at the Chilkoot weir.