ANCHORAGE — In the 13 years that Mike and Shannon Gribbons have lived on their two-acre home and barn spread with a menagerie of domesticated animals that has included full-size and miniature horses, a llama and a goat, they’d only encountered black bears.
But on Sunday, there were three grizzly bear visits at the Gribbon property, and by the end of the day, one of the bears was dead and so was Ande the llama, according to Monday’s Anchorage Daily News.
The events that led up to the llama and bear cub being killed began at about 7:30 a.m. when Mike Gribbon saw a brown bear sow galloping away from the house and across the road. His wife noticed their 14-year-old llama was nowhere to be found, and saw his half-buried remains beneath a tree in a fenced arena-like area.
“We knew it was a bear,” she said. The llama’s remains were removed.
In the early afternoon, what Mike describes as a 250- to 300-pound, 1- or 2-year-old bear came back to the kill site.
It was snorting, pawing dirt and generally seemed disgruntled that the carcass was gone, Shannon said.
Mike said the bear began moving quickly toward the barn where two miniature horses about the size of a large dog were inside.
Mike shot near the bear with a 300 Winchester Magnum rifle hoping to scare it off, but the bear didn’t stop. He shot twice more, this time aiming at it and killed it.
Police arrived and Mike was filling out paperwork for killing a bear in defense of life and property when a third brown bear that looked to be the same age and size as the one Mike had killed ambled up.
“You should have seen the look on the officers’ faces,” Mike said. Police officers drew firearms but scared it off without killing it, he said.
The Gribbons, who have lived in Alaska for more than 30 years, believe the trio was a sow and her two cubs.