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With the shooting of a young grizzly bear in Anchorage this week, the bear wars in Alaska’s largest city begin again in what has become an annual, seasonal struggle that has left both people and bears dead and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game wrestling with an unsolvable problem.
Bears – especially grizzly bears – are potentially dangerous animals. A year ago come June, 44-year-old Michael Soltis went for a hike near his home in the Anchorage suburb of Eagle River and never came back.
Searchers who went looking for him were charged by a grizzly, and one of them was injured. Soltis’s body was subsequently found buried in a bear cache. Soltis left behind a fiance and an unborn child.