Fish and Game shoots black bear thought to have killed 16-year-old runner

In response to the fatal bear mauling last weekend of 16-year-old Patrick Cooper in a mountain running race south of Anchorage, wildlife officials shot and killed four black bears, including the one thought to have killed the teen.

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That bear had been shot once already during an effort Sunday to recover the 16-year-old’s body.

It was tentatively identified by the State Department of Fish and Game after being killed Tuesday — because the animal had a broken jaw, a recent wound likely caused by a shotgun slug.

Fish and Game said it is conducting a necropsy on the bear to make sure it was the animal responsible for the first fatal mauling in Anchorage since two people were killed in 1995.

Fish and Game said ground searches had been unsuccessful in finding the animal, so aircraft were used to spot and shoot the bears.

The three other bears that were killed were seen close to where the boy was killed, in steep brushy terrain near the Bird Ridge trail, according to Fish and Game.

Fish and Game said the terrain made it impractical to use tranquilizer darts on any of the animals.

Casey Grove is host of Alaska News Nightly, a general assignment reporter and an editor at Alaska Public Media. Reach him at Read more about Casey here

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