As state wildlife authorities searched Monday for a black bear they believed to have been shot and wounded after causing the death of a 16-year-old runner near Anchorage, there came news of the another bear fatality to the north in the Alaska Interior.
Details were few, but Doreen Parker Mcneil, the Fairbanks regional coordinator for the state’s Division of Wildlife Conservation, confirmed there was a death somewhere in the vicinity of the Pogo Mine about 85 miles east-southeast of the Interior city.
She said indications are that the bear involved in that attack has been killed.
“We have personnel en route to assess the situation,” Mcneil said. “We do not know what species of bear it is. (And) I’m not sure it was connected with the mine. I do know they helicoptered from the mine to get to wherever it was.”
Pogo is a highly productive gold deposit about 40 miles northeast of Delta Junction, a wide spot on the Alaska Highway about halfway between Fairbanks and the U.S.-Canada border. Ninety miles of underground roads wind their way through tunnels to depths of 1,000 feet below the mine.
The mine is not far north of George Lake where a black bear killed and partially consumed 64-year-old Robert Weaver from Fairbanks in June 2013. His wife was forced to barricade herself in a family cabin to survive after the bear attacked.
An Alaska State Trooper investigating that death was later approached by a black bear he took to be eyeing him as potentional prey. The trooper shot the animal. A necropsy performed on that bear found Weaver’s remains in its gut.