Eagle River, Alaska, homeowners killed a black bear that sneaked into a chicken coop and ate the owner's favorite bird on Friday, hours after a different bear "mouthed" the leg of a girl at a neighborhood playground near Elmendorf Air Force Base.
The chicken coop bandit was one of six young bears that have been shot in the Anchorage municipality — mostly black bears and mostly in Eagle River — over roughly the past two weeks, said area Fish and Game biologist Rick Sinnott.
In other words: Stay alert. Bear Season 2010 is getting busy with human-bear encounters on the rise.
One of the most recent began at about 10 p.m. Friday, as George Drummond sat dozing in front of the television in his home off Eagle River Loop.
A bang at the door sent Drummond's nerves humming. There's a bear in your coop, his neighbor said.
Drummond, 62, looked outside to see a 150-pound blackie eating his favorite chicken, an Araucana named Goldie. Drummond appreciated the bird's greenish eggs and friendly demeanor.
"She's more of a people chicken," he said.
Before wandering into his coop, the bear had already hassled a neighbor who had small children at the house, said Drummond, who picked up a garden hose. He set it on "jet" and sprayed.
"I was squirting it in the head and the face, and it just looked at me," he said.
Drummond said he fired his tiny .25-caliber handgun four times into the ground to scare the animal away. The bear then moved toward his neighbor, Drummond said.
"It kind of made an advance towards him. So he gave it a couple shots with the .45," he said.
Dying, the bear crossed the road where Drummond said he killed it with two more gun shots from the .25.
To the east, a ranger also shot a black bear at the Eagle River Nature Center on Friday, Sinnott said. "It was trying to get in all the doors and couldn't be driven away."
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