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Park Archeologists Shoot Attacking Brown Bear

Katmai National Park and Preserve

National Park News

Two park archeologists were forced to kill a brown bear on July 13th after it attacked them. The archeologists had been camping and working on an offshore island for several days when a lone bear appeared at their campsite. The bear showed continued aggressive behavior towards both members of the crew and was not easily chased away from their campsite. Various means were employed to dissuade the bear from approaching, including loud noises, visual displays and at one point pepper spray. At no time did the bear obtain food or other items from the campsite. On the morning of July 13th, the bear made an unprovoked charge at one of the archeologists while the camp was being dismantled for departure. Both archeologists fired their weapons to stop the charge, resulting in the bear’s death. The investigation remains open while additional information is collected. There were no injuries to either of the archeologists. Samples have been collected from the animal and will be examined as part of the investigation. While this level of aggression towards people has been rare in the Katmai area, it should serve as a reminder to all visitors and staff that bears and other animals in the park are wild and exhibit unpredictable behavior. Adherence to existing food storage and viewing regulations are essential to the safety of both people and the wildlife around them.


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