Tee Harbor neighbors decry brown bear killing

Neighbors criticized the  recent killing of a brown bear attacking chickens and urged the Juneau Assembly to pen stronger rules requiring secured chicken coops.

An Alaska Wildlife Trooper fatally shot the 420-pound bear a week ago after the unidentified property owner called police to report the bear killing chickens at a home near Tee Harbor.

Neighbors claimed the chicken coop wasn’t an enclosure, but an open pen and the killing could have been prevented.

“I was outside and I heard the shots that went off that shot that grizzly,” Honalee Elkan said.

That bear was doing nothing but trying to be a bear,” Roger Hughes said.

“This woman needs to be cited for her stupidity,” Kristine Trott said. “She was told by her neighbors, warned by her neighbors, many times.”

In a dispatch, the wildlife trooper reported being charged from a distance of 15 feet.

Alaska Fish and Game officials said an open chicken pen had attracted the bear.

Electrified fencing is recommended but not required by law. No citations were issued.

That didn’t sit right with Michelle Warrenchuk, who urged the the Juneau Assembly to take action.

“In the wake of last week’s shooting of a brown bear that had raided a chicken coop out the road and the many other bears and chicken encounters that have happened this summer and over the years resulting in killing of bears,” Warrenchuk said. “I feel it is time for the city to re-look at their chicken ordinance.”

In all, a half-dozen neighbors testified. A question was asked by the Juneau Assembly didn’t indicate whether it’d take action.

The Kodiak Island Borough is toying with strengthening its chicken regulations. That’s attracted healthy debate over striking the balance in raising poultry without baiting predators.

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