Backpacker shoots, kills grizzly in park

Posted: Tuesday, June 01, 2010

ANCHORAGE - A backpacker shot and killed a grizzly bear with his handgun in Alaska's Denali National Park, officials said.

A man and woman reported that they were hiking Friday evening when the bear emerged from trailside brush and charged the woman, park spokeswoman Kris Fister said in a statement.

The man fired nine rounds from his .45 caliber, semiautomatic pistol at the animal, which then stopped and walked into the brush.

The two reported the shooting to rangers, who restricted access to the Igloo Canyon area for fear that the bear was wounded and dangerous.

On Saturday, rangers found the dead bear about 100 feet from the shooting site.

Park officials are determining the justification for the shooting. It's legal to carry firearms in that area of the park but illegal to discharge them.

Rangers said it was the first known instance of a grizzly bear being shot by a visitor in the wilderness portion of Denali, formerly called Mount McKinley National Park.



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