Wildlife officials are investigating the death of a bear in Nikiski. The bear had been skinned, and had the skull and claws removed. All edible meat on the ribs, neck, brisket, front- and hindquarters was left to rot.
The Bureau of Wildlife Enforcement is trying to determine if it was a defense of life and property shooting, a road kill, a bear legally shot at a bait station and then dumped, or illegally killed.
Bears killed in defense of life and property are required to be skinned. The hide, with claws and evidence of sex attached, must be turned over to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Licensed and registered black bear hunters have been legally allowed to bag a bruin over bait stations since the middle of last month.
But officials say spring bear hunters are still required to salvage all edible meat, and to have the skull and hide sealed by Fish and Game within 30 days of the kill.